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Mali Political Parties Demand Elections After Failed Transition Pledge

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Mali’s political parties have asked for a timeline for presidential elections since the junta in power has not been able to hold elections within the allotted 24-month period to return to democracy.
August 2020 marked the beginning of military administration in Mali, which followed four years of eight coups around West and Central Africa, including those in Burkina Faso and Niger, two of its neighbors.
Regional groups have been attempting to negotiate transfers, but the temporary administrations are taking too long.
After seizing control of the country in a second coup in 2021, the current junta in Mali later declared that it would take 24 months, starting in March 2022, to restore civilian authority. Elections are scheduled for February 26.

In June 2022, new electoral legislation was established; nevertheless, in September of the previous year, it was announced that it would postpone the February elections for technical reasons, sparking outrage among political groups.
Many reacted again after last month’s transition deadline lapsed without a vote.

Several of the major political parties and civil society organizations in Mali demanded in a joint statement that the government quickly establish an institutional framework for elections.
With over 20 signatories, including a significant opposition coalition and the party of the overthrown former president, they declared in the declaration, “We will use all legal and lawful avenues for the resumption of regular constitutional order in our country.”
The coup has not responded.
An initial pledge by Mali’s military government to hold elections in February 2022 was already broken, leading to harsh penalties from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

This strained ties with France, a former colonial power that withdrew its forces from the region in 2022 after a 12-year Islamic insurgency spiraled out of control.
ECOWAS, West Africa’s main political and economic body, eventually lifted Mali’s sanctions after the new electoral law was published.

Meanwhile, in what would be the first military government in the region to restore constitutional rule, the Junta-led government of Chad is set to hold the first round of presidential elections next month.


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