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Post-coup Mali sets timetable for vote ahead of key summit

Mali's transitional president, Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the August 2020 coup
Mali's transitional president, Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the August 2020 coup - Copyright AFP GABRIEL BOUYS
Mali's transitional president, Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the August 2020 coup - Copyright AFP GABRIEL BOUYS

Mali’s government has adopted a timetable for staging elections, in a move just days ahead of a regional summit to mull the future of sanctions against the junta-dominated country.

Official documents seen by AFP Thursday said presidential elections would be held in February 2024, preceded by a referendum on a revised constitution in March 2023.

Local elections will be held in June 2023 followed by a legislative ballot between October and November the same year, the documents said.

The decision was made at a government meeting on Wednesday night after the draft was given to political parties and civil society groups.

“Our authorities are setting down further signals for a return to constitutional order,” government spokesman Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga, who is also minister of territorial administration, said on state TV.

“The government believes that this timetable is realistic.”

The timetable is a key issue in the confrontation between Mali and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Colonels disgruntled at the government’s failure to roll back a bloody jihadist uprising ousted Mali’s elected president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, in August 2020.

Mali’s neighbours in West Africa, a region deeply prone to coups, have clamoured for an early restoration of civilian rule.

On January 9, ECOWAS imposed tough trade and financial sanctions for perceived foot-dragging on meeting this demand. 

Its leaders will meet Sunday in Ghana’s capital Accra to decide on the future of these measures.

In early June, the junta issued a decree saying that it would rule until March 2024.

The move was announced unilaterally, even as negotiations with the 15-nation bloc were continuing.

An ECOWAS mediator, former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan, has made a string of trips to Bamako to try to secure a compromise. 

His last stay was on June 23 and June 24.

AFP
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