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Mali leader looks set to win new term

Mali leader looks set to win new term

Mali's President Amadou Toumani Toure looks set to win a second term as head of the impoverished West African state, results trickling in from around the vast country showed on Monday.
Toure, popularly known by his initials "ATT," appeared to have secured the majority needed to win Sunday's election in the first round, based on initial returns from the capital Bamako and some rural communes.
"There won't be a second round," said government spokesman Ousmane Thiam, minister for investment promotion for small and medium firms.
Foreign observers said the polls had been free and fair, but the opposition said it would contest the outcome.
"We refuse all these results because the vote has been stained by many examples of fraud," Keita's campaign director, Macki Diallo, told Reuters.
Keita had already cried foul before the results were announced, saying electoral lists were out of date, ballot papers had been circulated before voting began and that the military had been told to back Toure.
West Africa's second-biggest state, much of which lies in the Sahara, is one of the world's poorest countries. Four-fifths of its workforce are employed in farming, cultivating cotton, rice and grains.
Mechanising agriculture and building roads to get produce to market have been among Toure's priorities. The country now boasts more tractors than any other in West Africa bar Nigeria and Toure, a softly-spoken former commando, has pledged investment to more than triple cereal production if voted in again.
Credited with rescuing West Africa's second-largest country from military dictatorship, Toure first seized power in a 1991 coup and won international acclaim for handing over to an elected president the following year.
Analysts hope that Mali's poll will be a boost to Africa's democratic credentials, particularly after the violence and chaos that marred elections in its most populous nation, Nigeria, a week earlier.


Updated : 2021-05-08 01:32 GMT+08:00