Mali strongman adopts electoral law, key to civilian rule

The Malian government has said that once the electoral law is adopted, it could quickly present it to the ECOWAS



Colonel Assimi Goita. — File photo
Colonel Assimi Goita. — File photo

By AFP

Published: Sat 25 Jun 2022, 1:29 AM

Mali’s strongman ruler on Friday signed into law election legislation adopted by parliament a week ago, paving the way for polls and a return of civilian rule, according to a presidential decree.

The text was adopted on June 17 by the National Transitional Council, the legislative body set up by Mali’s ruling military junta, led by Colonel Assimi Goita.

It notably sets up a single election management body in place of a contested three-party system.

The Malian government has said that once the electoral law is adopted, it could quickly present it to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regional bloc for approval.

It would set out the steps that would lead to elections before the return of power to civilians.

“The president of the transition, head of state, enacts the law” voted on June 17 by the NTC, said a presidential decree published on Friday in the official gazette.

The NTC had in its review revised the text against the wishes of the government.

It adopted 92 amendments to the draft proposed by the government, out of 219 articles.

Among them, the structure of the single body, called the Independent Electoral Management Authority, was significantly altered in favour of civilian representation.

The adoption of the bill comes amid fraught negotiations between Mali and ECOWAS, whose mediator, former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan, arrived in Bamako on Thursday before leaving on Friday.

Jonathan began his mission nine days ahead of an ECOWAS summit in Accra due on July 3.

ECOWAS is expected to decide whether to maintain or lift the tough trade and financial sanctions imposed on Mali on January 9 in the wake of a military takeover.


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