Mali presidential run off today

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Malians are set to begin voting in a presidential election run-off between Former Prime Minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who won 40% of the vote in the first round and ex-Finance Minister Soumaila Cisse.

Mr Keita - who is popularly known by his initials, "IBK" - has urged voters to give him what he called a "clear and clean" majority in the run-off.

"My first priority would be the reconciliation of the country. After the trauma that it has suffered, a new start is needed," he told reporters on Saturday.

Mr Keita - who is popularly known by his initials, "IBK" - has urged voters to give him what he called a "clear and clean" majority in the run-off.

"My first priority would be the reconciliation of the country. After the trauma that it has suffered, a new start is needed," he told reporters on Saturday.

The success of the election would give Mali access to over $4bn (£2.6bn) foreign aid promised to rebuild the country.

A record 49% of the 6.8 million registered voters cast a ballot in first round on 28 July.Mr Cisse, who was second among the 27 candidates with 19.7% of the vote, complained that there was widespread fraud, with more than 400,000 ballots declared spoiled.

For today’s elections, about 21,000 polling stations are due to open across Mali at 08:00 GMT.
 
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