Mali Opposition Leaders Refuse To Back Challenger In Presidential Run-off

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Mali Opposition Leaders Refuse To Back Challenger In Presidential Run-off

BAMAKO – The third and fourth-place finishers in the first round of Mali’s presidential election declined on Thursday to endorse opposition leader Soumaila Cisse in Sunday’s run-off, dealing a blow to his hopes of defeating President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Keita, who is seeking a second term despite jihadist attacks and inter-ethnic violence, won the first round last month with over 41 percent of the vote. Cisse finished second with nearly 18 percent.

Cisse has alleged there was widespread fraud in the first round and has been trying to unite the other two dozen candidates behind him for the run-off.

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