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‘We Want A Return To Democracy, Set Date For Elections ASAP’ – Mali Political Parties Tell Military Leaders After Failed Transition Promise

Koko 2024/4/12

Political parties in Mali have requested a time frame for presidential elections after the ruling junta failed to organise polls within a promised 24-month transition back to democracy.

FILE PHOTO: Colonel Assimi Goita, leader of Malian military junta, looks on while he stands behind Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou during a photo opportunity after the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) consultative meeting in Accra, Ghana September 15, 2020.

Mali has been under military rule since August 2020, the first of eight coups in West and Central Africa over four years, including in its neighbours Burkina Faso and Niger.

Regional blocs have been trying to negotiate transitions but the interim governments are dragging their feet.

It passed a new electoral law in June 2022, but said in September last year that it would postpone February elections for technical reasons, sparking outrage among political groups.

Many reacted again after last month’s transition deadline lapsed without a vote.

In a joint statement late on Sunday, some of Mali’s main political parties and civil society groups called on authorities to set up an institutional framework for polls as soon as possible.

“We will use all legal and legitimate avenues for the return of normal constitutional order in our country,” they said in the statement, which has over 20 signatories, including a major opposition coalition and the toppled ex-president’s party.

The junta has not reacted.

Mali’s military rulers already failed on a first promise to hold elections in February 2022, prompting stiff sanctions from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

That damaged relations with former colonial power France, which withdrew forces in 2022 that had been fighting a spiralling 12-year-old Islamist insurgency in the region.

Junta-led Chad is meanwhile scheduled to hold the first round of a presidential election next month in what would be the first of the region’s military governments to restore constitutional rule.


Photo Credit: Getty

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