Garnering 78% of the vote, Mali’s government has confirmed Ibrahim Boubacar Keita as the new president of the African country.
Reports say the presidential election runoff was held August 11 and the new president is expected to be sworn in by Mali’s supreme court on September 4.
Mr. Keita was the former Prime Minister of Mali from 1994 to 2000. He was also the President of the National Assembly of Mali from 2002 to 2007.
He is prominently known as “Kankeletegui” or “a man of his word” in the Bambara language.
US Congratulates Mali for peaceful and credible election
With the election under international eye, US Secretary of State John Kerry today joins President Obama and all Americans in congratulating Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on his election as President of the Republic of Mali.
The US commends the interim government for securing a peaceful, inclusive, and orderly election, and applaud its efforts to improve the process and alleviate challenges throughout.
“We urge Mali’s new government to build on these efforts in preparing for upcoming legislative elections.” – Secretary Kerry
He adds that the upcoming legislative election is the next important milestone as Mali restores its democratic institutions.
The US also lauds the transparent and credible manner in which the election was conducted.
Secretary Kerry says the peaceful election manifests the Mali’s democratic tradition, and reflects the progress that Mali has made over the past 18 months.
However, Secretary Kerry points out that to ensure the best possibility of consolidating this progress, Mali’s new government must address the country’s most pressing challenges, including national reconciliation and security sector reform, which is why we particularly emphasize the importance of Malian civilian control and oversight of the military.
US Responds to Evolving Crisis in Mali
US has named the challenges Mali continues to face: al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb’s (AQIM) continued presence in northern Mali, the restoration of democracy, the need to begin negotiations with northern groups that renounce terrorism and recognize the unity of the Malian state, and a significant ongoing humanitarian crisis.
The evolving crisis in Mali is one of the most difficult, complex, and urgent problems West Africa has faced in decades.
US says Mali’s problems reflect the fragility of governance in the region, the lack of economic development especially in northern Mali where the absence of meaningful opportunities for people to engage with their governments, and the widespread desperation that exists in an unforgiving, arid region with chronic food insecurity.
Poor governance, weak democratic institutions, and a lack of development and economic opportunity create fertile ground for terrorism and instability.