Reuters reports: Soumaila Cisse, loser in Mali’s presidential elections, vowed on Tuesday that he would build the country’s first proper opposition in years, as Malians applauded his concession to Ibrahim Boubacar Keita which dispelled fears of fresh conflict.
Cisse conceded defeat late on Monday as it became clear that former prime minister Keita had swept Sunday’s second round vote. Keita has promised to restore the pride of a nation riven by a military coup and an Islamist revolt last year.
On the streets of the riverside capital Bamako, residents heaped praise on Cisse’s gesture, which avoided a potentially lengthy and acrimonious battle in a country already weary of turmoil.
Television showed Cisse going in person with his wife and children to congratulate Keita and his family at their home.
“Soumaila’s conduct was truly impeccable,” said Aissata Camara, a pharmacy lab technician. “It was very impressive and very democratic as well. It was a relief for all of us.”