The United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU) called for restraint in Mali after the opposition candidate said he would reject the results of a presidential run-off.
Provisional results of the faceoff between President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (73), and former finance minister Soumaila Cisse, 68, are expected on Wednesday, according to an official source.
But Cisse said on Monday he would reject the results of the vote, which was marred by violence, low turnout and accusations of fraud.
He called on “all Malians to rise up… (against) the dictatorship of fraud.”
“Responsibility for what is going to happen in this country lies with the president’s side,” he declared.
In New York, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called on “all parties to remain calm through the conclusion of the electoral process” and avoid “incendiary rhetoric.”
The EU mission called on candidates to “show restraint” and “avoid announcing their own result estimates before the results are published.”
Cisse’s team and other opposition contenders have repeatedly accused the government of fraud, including ballot-box stuffing and vote-buying.
“The fraud is proven, this is why there are results we will not accept,” Cisse said at his party’s headquarters in Bamako on Monday.
He said the computer programme his party uses to tally votes – which had put him in the lead until then — had been hacked.
His team also said half a dozen of their members were detained for two hours in a Bamako police station and their phones and laptops had been seized.
The second round saw one election worker killed and hundreds of polling stations closed on security grounds, although this was still only a small percentage of the 23 000 stations nationwide.
Both the EU and the African Union (AU) said the election had not been badly impaired.
“Our observers did not see fraud but irregularities,” EU mission chief, Cecile Kyenge, said. A
frican Union (AU) election observers said the voting was carried out “in acceptable conditions,” in a preliminary report published on Monday. Herald