Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, an ex-prime minister with a reputation for firmness, won Mali’s presidential election after his rival conceded defeat on Monday in a poll meant to draw a line under more than a year of turmoil.
The concession by his rival Soumaila Cisse, who had complained only hours earlier that Sunday’s second-round vote had been marred by fraud, hands Keita a strong mandate to undertake reform in the landlocked former French colony, one of the world’s poorest countries.
“My family and I went to congratulate Mr Keita, the future president of Mali, on his victory. May God bless Mali,” Cisse, a former finance minister, said on his official Twitter feed.
A spokesman for Cisse, who comes from northern Mali, said his candidate had admitted defeat after it became clear Keita had won even in Gao, the largest town in the north.