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Post-coup Mali sets timeline for voting ahead of key summit

#Postcoup #Mali #sets #timeline #voting #ahead #key #summit

Mali’s government has adopted a timetable for holding elections just days before a regional summit to consider the future of sanctions on the junta-dominated country.

Official documents seen by AFP on 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 general election between October and November of the same year, the documents said.

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

“Our authorities are sending further signals for the return to constitutional order,” government spokesman Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga, who is also Minister for Territorial Administration, said on state television.

“The government considers this timetable to be realistic.”

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

Colonels, angered by the government’s failure to quell a bloody jihadist insurgency, ousted Mali’s President-elect Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in August 2020.

Mali’s neighbors in West Africa, a region prone to coups, have been vocal in calling for a speedy restoration of civilian rule.

On January 9, ECOWAS imposed severe trade and financial sanctions over alleged negligence in complying with this request.

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

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

The move was announced unilaterally, although negotiations with the 15-nation bloc were still ongoing.

An ECOWAS mediator, former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, has made a series of trips to Bamako to try to reach a compromise.

His last stay was on June 23rd and June 24th.


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