|Not a single hanging chad in sight|
|Map of Mali, showing the formerly de facto independent republic of Azawad in purple|
|Moussa Ag Assarid (right) speaking alongside a Berber separatist at a rally in Paris.|
Facing off for the presidency are the Rally for Mali party’s Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, a former prime minister of Mali (1994-2000), who got 40% of the vote in the July 28th round, and a former finance minister, Soumaïla “Sumy” Cissé, current president of the West African Monetary Union, who got 20%. Cissé, who faces an uphill battle, is a native of Niafunké, the town in the far south of Azawad’s Timbuktu province, which is also the home town of possibly the world’s most famous Malian, the late musician Ali Farka Touré. Both Keïta and Cissé have campaigned on vows to end the Azawad conflict without partitioning the country. If they are not prepared to allow the 10% of the Malian population who are Tuareg and Moor a quasi-state in the north, that may be an impossible promise to keep.
|If Keïta wins, he will have the perhaps impossible task of keeping Mali together.|