Keita wins Mali presidency with 77.61 percent of vote

August 15, 2013 14:13

BAMAKO - Ibrahim Boubacar Keita won Mali's presidential election runoff with 77.61 percent of the vote, the government said on Thursday, handing him a strong mandate for sweeping reforms in the war-torn West African state.

Sunday's vote marked a transition back to democratic rule after a March 2012 military coup plunged the West African nation into turmoil, allowing Islamist insurgents to seize Mali's desert north. A French-led military intervention in January liberated the region.

Former Prime Minister Keita, whose rival Soumaila Cisse had already admitted defeat on Monday, has said his first priority will be to forge a lasting peace in northern Mali with Tuareg separatist rebels. He has also pledged to eliminate widespread corruption and revive Mali's ailing economy.

General Moussa Sinko Coulibaly, minister for Territorial Administration, said turnout at Sunday's vote fell slightly to 45.78 percent, from the record level of 49 percent registered in the July 28 first round.

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