Mali junta leader Assimi Goïta might not be able to be a candidate in the post-coup elections

By Jeune Afrique
Posted on Friday, 18 February 2022 17:52

Mali’s Supreme Court officially swore in Colonel Assimi Goïta as Mali’s transitional president on 8 November 2021. © Habib Kouyate/Xinhua via MAXPPP

A draft transitional charter says that Malian coup leader Assimi Goïta will not be able to run for president in elections, which still do not have a date.

The text of the charter remains vague on election timing, which is also a bone of contention between the Malian authorities on one hand, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and parts of the international community, on the other.

The Conseil National de Transition (CNT) has been the country’s legislative organ since the military coup in August 2020. This month, it started to examine a reform of the transitional charter, which governs the transition that is due to bring the return to civilian rule. The country has faced a political and security crisis since secessionist and jihadist insurgencies broke out in 2012.

The charter, enacted by the military forces on 1 October 2020, fixed the length of the transition at 18 months. The authorities have since revoked their initial commitment to organise elections on 27 February. ECOWAS imposed heavy diplomatic and economic sanctions on Mali on 9 January.

The 18-month timetable is “untenable”, Goïta wrote in a letter to the CNT, citing the need for reforms first. A draft law says that the length of the transition is to be decided based on the recommendation of a national consultative exercise known as the Assises Nationales de la Refondation. The authorities organised this process of consultation in late 2021, with the aim of recommending the length of transition.

The authorities present the Assises as the expression of popular will, a claim which is contested by part of the political class.

It recommends a transitional period of between six months and five years.

The bill under discussion also states that “the president of the transition is not eligible for the presidential and legislative elections” that will take place at the end of the transition. This is already the case in the current version of the charter.

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