Mali announces 2012 presidential election date By KOUF KAF in Bamako | Thursday, October 20  2011 at  15:24

Mali's President Amadou Toumani Toure. He is stepping down after elections in April next year. FILE | AFRICA REVIEW 

Mali is to hold its presidential election on April 29, next year, the government has announced.

The second round ballot is scheduled for May 13, 2012.

Constitutionally, current President Amadou Toumani Touré cannot run again as he will be completing his second and final term.

But the line of aspirants seeking to succeed him is a long one.

So far, the declared candidates are Dioncounda Traoré, Soumaïla Cissé, Oumar Mariko, Moussa Mara, Houssein Guindo, Niankoro Yéah Samaké and Cheick Bougadary Traoré, who is a son of a former military ruler, Gen Moussa Traoré.

Others considered probable aspirants are former Prime Ministers Modibo Kéïta and Soumana Sacko and Dr Cheick Modibo Diarra, a NASA astrophysicist and currently chairman of Microsoft Africa.

The ruling PDES party has also not yet named its candidates.

The legislative calendar of elections will start on July 1, 2012 being the first round, followed by the second round vote on July 22, 2012.