Aug. 13 - Presidential candidate Soumaila Cisse concedes defeat and congratulates his rival Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, after more than a year of turmoil in the country. Sunita Rappai reports.
A new day in Mali - and relief in the capital Bamako as losing presidential candidate Soumaila Cisse concedes defeat. He officially conceded to rival Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, known by his initials IBK, late on Monday night, and earnt the respect of citizens. (SOUNDBITE) (French) PHARMACY LAB TECHNICIAN, CISSE AISSATA CAMARA, SAYING: "Soumaila's conduct was truly impeccable, it was very impressive and it was very democratic as well. We are all relieved." (SOUNDBITE)(Bambara) TAXI DRIVER, BOUBACAR DIARRA, SAYING: "For us, it's really good, because if you realise you have been beaten, and you go and congratulate the other for his victory, that will make our democracy better." The concession hands the 68-year-old Keita a strong mandate to undertake reform in the landlocked former French colony, one of the world's poorest countries. He will now have access to four-billion-dollars in international aid to rebuild the country, after a French military offensive dislodged Islamist rebels from the north in January.