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Candidate in Mali runoff vote gets key endorsement

August 5, 2013

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — The fourth-place candidate in Mali’s presidential election has thrown his support behind former finance minister Soumaila Cisse, one of two candidates who will compete in a runoff Aug. 11.

Modibo Sidibe made his announced at a press conference Monday.

Cisse, who received 19.4 percent of the in the first round on July 28, will face off against top vote-getter Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who received 39.2 percent.

Keita already received a surprise endorsement from third-place finisher Dramane Dembele, the candidate of the country’s largest political party, over the weekend.

The election is seen as a new beginning for a country that fell victim to a military coup in March 2012 and then lost half of its territory to various rebel groups before France intervened militarily earlier this year.