Mali to vote in run-off election with president Keita favourite to win

REUTERS/Luc Gnago

Malians vote on Sunday in a run-off election and President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita is favourite to beat Soumaila Cisse even though ethnic and militant violence has surged during his tenure.

Keita took 41 percent of the vote in last month’s first round against nearly 18 percent for Cisse, a former finance minister and the main opposition leader.

The poll was marred by armed attacks and other security incidents that disrupted about a fifth of polling places and the threat of violence could again dampen turnout on Sunday.

The chaotic first round was a reminder that militants, some linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State, have regrouped since a French intervention in 2013 and are now expanding their influence across the desert north and into the fertile centre.