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Loser in Mali election files appeal to overturn results

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BAMAKO (Reuters) – The losing candidate in Mali’s presidential election, Soumaila Cisse, said on Friday that he has lodged an appeal with the country’s constitutional court to overturn the results that he says were fraudulent.

Cisse lost in a landslide to incumbent President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, picking up just 33 percent of the vote in an election in which only 34 percent of a politics-weary electorate voted.

Although largely peaceful, the election was tainted by militant violence especially in the centre and north, where hundreds of polling stations remained closed, and by allegations from Cisse that Keita’s camp had stuffed ballots and toyed with the electoral roll to win votes.

Cisse says that without any fraudulent votes he would have won 51 percent of the vote.

“We have already filed constitutional court appeals,” Cisse told a small crowd of cheering supporters in the capital Bamako. “We are within the deadline and we have until midnight to make further changes.”

The European Union observer mission and other local and international monitors have said that although there were irregularities and disruptions, they saw no evidence of fraud.

(Reporting By Fadimata Kontao and Tiemoko Diallo; Writing by Edward McAllister; Editing by Alison Williams)

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