Born in Timbuctu, Soumaïla Cissé studied at l'Institut des Sciences de l'Ingénieur de Montpellier in France to become a software engineer. He worked in several large French companies (IBM-France, le Groupe Pechiney, le Groupe Thomson and the aerospace company Air Inter) before returning to Mali in 1984 to work at the Compagnie malienne pour le développement des textiles (CMDT).
With his creation of the Alliance pour la démocratie au Mali-Parti africain pour la solidarité et la justice ("Alliance for democracy in Mali/African Party for solidarity and justice," ADEMA-PASJ), he became the Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic following the 1992 election of Alpha Oumar Konaré. In 1993, he was named Minister of Finances, then in 2000, Minister of Equipment, Management of Territory, Environment, and Urban Planning in the government of Mandé Sidibé.
Cissé was elected as the Third Vice-President of ADEMA-PASJ at the party's first extraordinary congress, held between November 25 and November 28, 2000. In January 2002, he resigned from the government to devote himself to preparation for the 2002 presidential election, and ADEMA-PASJ selected him as its candidate to succeed Alpha Oumar Konaré. Cissé took second place in the first round of the election with 21.31% of the vote, but he lost to Amadou Toumani Touré in the second round, taking 35.65% of the vote.
Considering himself overthrown by a faction of ADEMA-PASJ, Cissé left the party with a group of loyalists to found the Union for the Republic and Democracy (Union pour la république et la démocratie, URD) in June 2003.
Soumaïla Cissé is currently President of the Commission of the West African Monetary Union (UEMOA).
- "Présidentielles: 24 SUR LA LIGNE DE DÉPART", L'Essor, April 8, 2002 (French).
- "L'agenda du premier quinquennat 1992–1997", L'Essor, June 6, 2002 (French).
- "Comité exécutif 2000–2003; La liste du comité exécutif issu du premier congrès extraordinaire", ADEMA-PASJ website (French).
- "1er tour de l'élection présidentielle au Mali : Verdict de la Cour Constitutionnelle", L'Essor, May 9, 2002 (French).
- This article is based on a translation of the corresponding article from the French Wikipedia, retrieved on June 27, 2005.