When Mali imploded last year - its president ousted by mutinous soldiers and its north seized by separatist and Islamist rebels - many called for an overhaul of the West African state's flawed democracy, once held up as a model of stability.
Sunday's presidential election in the Sahel state, which experienced turmoil and conflict for over a year, including a French-led military intervention from January, provides the chance for a fresh start to rebuild and unite the nation.
"The president will have five years to reconcile Malians, reform the army and put the economy back on track," said Djibril Kone, a businessman in the capital. "It is an enormous task so we should be realistic. There will be no magic wand." Read the full story.