Mali’s Top Court Confirms Keita as President after Disputed Vote

Mali’s constitutional court on Monday confirmed President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita’s re-election in a run-off ballot amid accusations of fraud by the opposition candidate.

The court’s ruling clears the way for Keita to be inaugurated next month for a second five-year term, at a time when Malian authorities are contending with rising violence by jihadist groups and ethnic militia.

Challenger Soumaila Cisse had contested the electoral commission result of the Aug. 12 vote, which showed Keita had won by 67 percent.

The election was tainted by armed attacks in the center and northern parts of the country, where hundreds of polling stations remained closed, and a turnout of only 34 percent amid violence and voter apathy.

Cisse says he would have won 51 percent of the vote but for ballot box stuffing and other cheating by Keita’s camp, an allegation Keita has rejected.

Meanwhile, the European Union observer mission and other local and international monitors said that, despite a number of irregularities and disruptions, they saw no evidence of fraud during the polls.

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