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Mali’s political parties, group rail against ruling junta over lack of clarity on transition



Failure of ruling Mali junta to adhere to promised timelines for the organization of presidential elections has sparked concern and frustration among political parties and civil society groups in the West African country, it has been learnt.

And there fears too that concern may fuel unrest and uncertainty in Mali in the days ahead.

Since the military takeover in August 2020, Mali has experienced a series of coups, reflecting a broader trend of instability in West and Central Africa.

The current junta, which seized power in a second coup in 2021, initially pledged to transition back to civilian rule within 24 months starting from March 2022, with elections scheduled for February.

Despite passing a new electoral law in June 2022, the junta later cited technical reasons for postponing the elections, leading to widespread discontent and accusations of stalling tactics.

The recent expiration of the transition deadline without a vote has further exacerbated tensions, prompting several of Mali’s key political parties and civil society organizations to issue a joint statement demanding a clear timeline for the presidential elections.

In their statement, they emphasized the importance of establishing an institutional framework for the polls without delay, signaling their commitment to upholding the principles of constitutional order and democratic governance.

“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.

However, the junta’s response to these calls remains elusive, raising doubts about the sincerity of their commitment to a timely transition to civilian rule.

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The failure to fulfill previous promises regarding election dates has not only strained Mali’s domestic political landscape but has also drawn criticism and sanctions from regional and international bodies, including the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and former colonial power France.

The situation in Mali stands in stark contrast to neighboring Chad, where a junta-led government is set to hold a presidential election, potentially becoming the first military administration in the region to restore constitutional rule.

This divergence underscores the urgency for Mali to address its political impasse and uphold its obligations to its citizens and the international community.

As Mali navigates this critical juncture in its political trajectory, the need for transparency, accountability, and adherence to democratic principles has never been more pressing.

The voices calling for a clear timeline for presidential elections reflect a shared commitment to safeguarding Mali’s democratic institutions and ensuring a peaceful and inclusive transition of power.

In the face of mounting challenges and uncertainties, the resolution of Mali’s political crisis hinges on the willingness of all stakeholders to engage in constructive dialogue, uphold the rule of law, and prioritize the interests of the Malian people above all else.

Only through collective efforts and a genuine commitment to democratic governance can Mali chart a path towards stability, prosperity, and lasting peace.

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