Mali sets July 28 as date for presidential election; runoff on Aug. 11

Mali's government says it will hold the country's presidential election on July 28.

It will be the first ballot since a coup in March 2012 ousted Mali's democratically elected president just months before he was due to step down at the end of his last term in office.

The coup plunged the country into chaos, creating an opening that allowed extremist groups allied with al-Qaida to seize Mali's northern half.

Monday's statement by the transitional government said the campaign for president will begin at midnight on July 7 at and end at midnight on July 26.

If no candidate wins an absolute majority, a runoff will be held on Aug. 11.