On Monday, Mali's National Transitional Council (NTC), which is the Legislative branch established by the dictatorship that took power in August 2020, defined that the organization of elections for the return to democracy could take up to five years instead of 18 months.
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“The transition's duration is a frequent subject of discussions and negotiations. To approve the new period, we took into account the aspirations of the people,” the NTC member Youssouf Coulibaly claimed, stressing that this modification was voted unanimously.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) forcibly rejected the delay and assured that it will maintain the financial embargo and the closure of borders imposed on Jan. 9 against Mali as long as the country does not hold elections.
Reacting to the NTC resolution, opposition politician Abdoulaye Coulibaly stressed that the extension of the transition period shows a failure of the current authorities and demanded that Prime Minister Choguel Kokalla Maiga leave office.
The NTC text also provides for the elimination of the position of vice president —which has been vacant since it was no longer occupied by Colonel Assimi Goita— to reduce the State’s influence and allow the Defense Ministries to regain the fullness of their traditional powers.
The Transitional Council members also approved the increase in the number of lawmakers from 121 to 147 and that its president Malick Diaw cannot be a candidate in a future presidential election.
“Our Charter has not been the subject of a substantive amendment, but for small amendments for achieving objective and efficient political and social governance,” Coulibaly claimed.