- Title: MALI: Presidential elections, President Amadou Toumani Toure favourite to win
- Date: 3rd May 2007
- Summary: LATORTUE WATCHES COUNTING OF VOTES ELECTIONS OFFICIAL MARKS CANDIDATES ON BLACK BOARD LATORTUE WATCHING FEMALE VOLUNTEER OPENS VOTING PAPER AND SHOWS RESULT FEMALE OBSERVER WRITING RESULTS BY CANDLELIGHT MALE VOLUNTEER CHECKING VOTER'S LIST WITH CANDLELIGHT GROUP OF VOLUNTEERS CHECKING VOTER'S LIST
- Embargoed: 18th May 2007 13:00
- Location: Mali
- Country: Mali
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA90N90P6QPM11H2N9L8JZ9Z5VU
- Story Text: News paper headlines tipped incumbent president Amadou Toumani Toure or ATT as the favourite to win in the polls held on Sunday (April 29).
There were eight candidates including Toure's main rival Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, or IBK; the national assembly president and former prime minister.
IBK has made some claims of irregularities saying electoral lists were out of date, ballot papers had been circulated before voting began.
Toure's camp has dismissed the allegations. The voting will go into a second round unless the result shows the president wins the first round with more than 50 percent of the votes.
"The elections went without incident, went well. There was no fraud, we are very happy, since we have democracy in Mali, the elections went well this year," said Mohamed Latif, a resident of Bamako.
Soldiers guarded voting centres in schools and public buildings and balloting was calm and orderly -- a marked contrast to the violence and chaos that marred elections in Africa's most populous nation, Nigeria, just over a week ago.
Observers said aside from a few technical glitches the vote appeared to have gone smoothly.
"We don't have any evidence of fraud, we haven't had anyone to come and talk to us about fraud - on the contrary, all we have seen is everything went quite well and the system put in place inside the voting centres seems to have worked well, people went to take their voting ballot and inside we have seen no one who put pressure on voters on their choice of candidates," said Gerard Latortue, a former Haitian prime minister and head of the International Francophone Organisation (OIF) observer mission.
Analysts hope Sunday's poll will be a boost to Africa's democratic credentials, after elections in Nigeria which were condemned by international observers.
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