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Court clears way for Mali run-off

Mali's constitutional court has confirmed the official results of the first round of voting in closely watched presidential elections, dismissing complaints of irregularities.

The court said it ruled that nearly a dozen allegations of voting irregularities were without merit. The announcement paves the way for the run-off vote to take place as scheduled on Sunday.

The court confirmed that former prime minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita had received 39.79% of the vote, while his opponent Soumaila Cisse took 19.70%. Mr Keita, known by his initials "IBK," cemented his front-runner status after winning endorsements from the vast majority of also-rans.

Mali's presidential election is critical to restoring a democratically elected government after a coup so that more than four billion US dollars in promised aid by international donors can be disbursed.

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