Ex-PM Keita ahead in Mali election: Unofficial survey
BAMAKO (AFP) - Preliminary results collated by journalists in polling stations gave a clear early lead to former premier Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in Mali's presidential elections, sparking celebrations among his supporters early Monday.
The unofficial projections, based on the accounts of reporters watching counts across the country, suggest that 69-year-old Keita, known universally as IBK, could even cause an upset and win the first round outright.
Analysts have characterised the election as a two-horse race, with Mr Keita a frontrunner alongside Soumaila Cisse, 63, a former finance minister and erstwhile chairman of the Commission of the West African Economic and Monetary Union.
Thousands of Mr Keita's supporters massed on his party headquarters in the capital Bamako, as news of his apparent lead was broadcast on local radio, an AFP correspondent at the scene reported.