Presidential elections take place under tight security
A presidential election will take place today in Mali. Around 6.9 million voters will be able to choose from some 27 candidates.
The process would have ended the presidency of Amadou Toumani Touré, but he was deposed in a military coup in March 2012 and formally resigned in April 2012. He indicated that he would not stand in this presidential election.
A frontrunner is Soumaïla Cissé a former Minister of Finance who set up his own party in 2003 called the Union for the Republic and Democracy (URD). Another frontrunner is Ibrahim Boubacar Keita a former prime minister from 1994 to 2000 who also founded his own party, the Rally for Mali (RPM), in 2001.
The election comes after a turbulent year in which French troops intervened after Touareg factions and groups allied with Al Qaeda overran the north of the country. A deal was eventually struck with Touareg rebels to allow the election to take place in the north, although there have been interventions with four election workers being kidnapped during the campaign.