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Malian president's camp claims election victory

Malian president's camp claims election victory

Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure's campaign claimed election victory on Tuesday with over 70 percent of votes, setting "ATT" up for a second term in which he has pledged to further overhaul farming in the arid country.
The territorial administration ministry, which organized the elections, was still collating official results, but said with 28 of 49 electoral areas counted, Toure had 72 percent of votes and his closest rival Ibrahim Boubacar Keita just 15 percent.
Toure's campaign said its complete tally, based on information from Toure's representatives in polling stations and returns signed by polling station monitors, showed he had won.
"The campaign team of Amadou Toumani Toure ... confirms that he has more than 70 percent of votes ... which places ATT in the lead with an absolute majority in Bamako, the interior and diplomatic posts abroad," a spokesman for Toure's campaign, Mountaga Tall, told reporters.
Keita, the president of the national assembly and a former prime minister, has already cried foul, saying electoral lists were out of date, ballot papers were circulated before voting began and the military were told to back Toure.
"We will employ all legal means to have the results annulled," his campaign director, Macki Diallo, told Reuters.
But foreign observers said the polls had been free and fair.
"There is such a considerable margin that the only worthy thing to do would be to call ATT and congratulate him," Tall said.
'Soldier of democracy'
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.
The softly spoken former parachute commando dubbed "The Soldier of Malian Democracy" made a comeback as a civilian with his election in 2002.
Since then he has worked to improve relations with foreign donors and investors, while focusing much of his attention at home on mechanising agriculture and building roads to get produce to market.
As a result Mali, one of the world's poorest countries and situated largely in the forbidding Sahara, now boasts more tractors than any other West African state bar Nigeria.
He has pledged to more than triple cereal production if re-elected - a clear commitment to a farming industry that employs four in five Malians despite low prices for the main export crop, cotton, which Mali blames on U.S. subsidies.
Toure has also promised more investment in northern areas which have seen sporadic violence over the past two decades by nomadic populations such as the light-skinned Tuareg, who complain of marginalisation by the black African government.
Some Tuareg community leaders backed Toure, who garnered a high proportion of votes in northern areas such as Kidal, the seat of a rebellion in the 1990s, as well as in the desert trading towns of Gao and Timbuktu.


Updated : 2021-08-03 02:43 GMT+08:00