Mali’s military government has postponed presidential elections expected to return the West African nation to democracy after a 2020 coup, a government spokesman said on Monday.
Presidential elections scheduled for February 2024 are being delayed for “technical reasons” to allow the transitional government to review its electoral record and deal with a new constitutional provision that would delay the second round of voting, government spokesman Abdoulaye said. Maiga to journalists in Bamako. , the capital.
“The transitional government clarifies that the new dates for the presidential election will be announced at a later date, following discussions with the Independent Electoral Management Authority (AIGE),” Maiga said.
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It is the second time Mali’s military government – which emerged from two coups in 2020 – has postponed the country’s presidential election.
Politicians in Mali criticized the decision, which could draw economic sanctions from the West African regional bloc, ECOWAS. The bloc eased sanctions on Mali in July 2022 after the government promised to hold elections.
“Nothing explains the postponement of the presidential election,” said Amadou Koita, president of Mali’s Yeleen-Kura Socialist Party.
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Mali has faced attacks by armed groups linked to al-Qaeda, the Islamic State group and former rebels whose multi-year peace deal with the government has failed in recent weeks.
A wave of coups in Africa’s Sahel region began in Mali in August 2020, when soldiers led by Colonel Assimi Goita overthrew democratically elected president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta. The military said it would restore civilian rule within 18 months.
Seven months into the transition process, however, military leaders removed the interim president and prime minister they had appointed and swore in Goita as president of the transitional government.
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Malian voters voted in a June referendum on a new draft constitution in a referendum the regime said would pave the way for elections.