Malians voted Sunday in a presidential run-off that they hope will bring stability and a return to democracy, as well as unlock international aid designed to help rebuild the poverty-stricken nation, dpa reported.
Polls were open for 10 hours and closed at 6 pm (1800 GMT). The results were expected to be announced within five days.
Former prime minister Ibrahim Boubakar Keita, 68, is the front runner. He said heavy rain in the capital, Bamako, had caused some concern over voter turnout, but that he believed all was going well.
"I am convinced Malians will brave the weather conditions and surpass the turnout of the first round," he said.
Nonetheless, the lines of voters were shorter than during the first round last month, in which Keita, popularly known as IBK, won 39.34 per cent.
His challenger in the run-off, Soumaila Cisse, 63, got 19.44 per cent last time.
Interim president Dioncounda Traore said: "Everything is going well, despite the rain. I am very satisfied with the progress of the electoral process."
He expressed hope for a substantial voter turnout, even with the weather conditions.
Nearly 50 per cent of the 6.8 million voters cast their ballots in July.
Keita has since received endorsements from nearly all of the other candidates from the first round.
Cisse pledged to respect any outcome from voters.
"I will accept the verdict at the polls, whatever the results are," he said.
The election is pivotal to helping Mali end a period of instability as it attempts to recover from a military coup last year and an Islamist insurgency that prompted France to send troops to its former colony.
France launched a military operation in January to stop the militants from advancing towards Bamako. A UN peacekeeping force is deploying to replace some 3,200 French troops in Mali.
Keita was the only candidate who did not criticize the March 2012 military coup and is considered to be favoured by the army.
More than 2,000 local election observers were joined by 100 monitors from the European Union and 150 from West African nations.
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