Constitutional Court affirms second round

Mali's Constitutional Court released on Thursday the final results of the 28 April first round of presidential elections, nullifying over 500,000 ballots cast, but maintaining that Sunday's second round should go ahead as planned.

Several presidential candidates had petitioned the court to annul the results, alleging fraud and vote-rigging. The court, however, concurred with the ministry of territorial administration, which organised the elections and confirmed ex-army general Amadou Toumani Toure who obtained 28.70 percent of the votes and Soumaila Cisse of the ruling ADEMA who got 21.30 percent, to contest the second round.

In cancelling the 541,000 votes ( 25 percent of the ballots), the Court cited campaigning on election day, voting by non-registered voters, missing election reports as some of the irregularities of the first round, an official of the ministry, Ismael Dicko, told IRIN on Friday.

Former prime minister, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who came in third place and had complained of irregularities, urged on Thursday his supporters to vote for Toure.

The Carter Centre, which observed the elections said in an interim report, that the elections had been peaceful, well managed and conducted in a spirit of transparency. But it observed a significant number of logistical and administrative irregularities on election day, such as missing voter cards and voter lists.

"Despite these irregularities, the Centre found that many presiding officers, political party and candidate representatives were committed to ensuring fair and unimpeded voter access on election day," the Centre said on Tuesday.