EU mission says Mali second-round vote calm

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — The head of the European Union observer mission is praising Malians for holding a peaceful presidential runoff vote only months after a military operation in the north.

Louis Michel also said that voters appeared to have fewer troubles Sunday finding their polling stations than in the first round.

Michel said Malians should be congratulated for returning to the long democratic tradition that existed in their country before last year’s coup.

Vote counting was taking place Monday across the country, with former Prime Minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita expected to defeat former finance minister Soumalia Cisse.

The election is aimed at unlocking some $4 billion in promised aid.

Mali has suffered a separatist rebellion, a coup and a war against Islamic insurgents in less than two years.

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