Bamako – Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita announced on state TV on Monday that he would run for re-election in a poll scheduled for the end of July.
Keita, 73, was widely expected to run for a second term, but the news had to be confirmed by him. Keita has been facing a growing political opposition in the capital of Bamako.
The opposition is particularly from the disaffected youth, and the growing and feared Islamist insurgency, including the continuous back and forth ethnic killings in the north.
Keita on state TV said, “I present myself as a candidate in the presidential election of July 29,”
“I ask you to trust in me again.”
Keita does face a number of opposition, about a dozen other candidates have announced their candidacy, the strongest candidate is seen by opposition leader Soumaila Cisse, a former finance minister.
Mali has also sectarian violence, dozens of ethnic Tuareg and Fulani civilians have been killed in intercommunal violence in the north, flared up Islamists, while insurgents have killed dozens of U.N. peacekeepers and government soldiers.
The economic growth has been stable at around 5 percent, helped by the strong cotton and gold output, but with higher population growth at over 3 percent, these gains have been used up to meet the demands.
Mali ranks 175 on the U.N. Human Development Index in fighting corruption, only 12 up from the bottom.
Photo Credit- AP