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Mali: Putschists soldiers set up transitional government against ECOWAS recommendations

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Putschists soldiers in Mali have announced the creation of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) to lead a political transition toward general elections following the resignation of President Ibrahim Keita.

This is an aggressive deviation from the ECOWAS Mediation Mission’s recommendation for the urgent constitution of a Government of national unity based on consensus and taking into account the recommendations of the Inclusive Dialogue and constitutional conformity.

The President Goodluck Jonathan-led Mission had urged for a speedy resolution to the socio-political crisis where it noted the importance and necessity of respecting the institutions of the Republic of Mali, particularly the constitutional means of ascending to power in conformity with the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.

It recommended proposed representations of 50% of the members of Government of Mali to be drawn from its ruling political coalition, 30% from the opposition and 20% of members of government to be drawn from the civil society.

Upon its formation, the new government would give priority to enhancing governance; to the reforms provided for in the conclusions of the Inclusive National Dialogue; the expeditious implementation of the Algiers Agreement and for the implementation of the measures to be concluded by July 31, 2020.

While the CNSP appeared to have partially observed inclusion by inviting civil society and socio-political movements to join in order to create “the best conditions for a better civil transition leading to credible elections”, it failed to observe the constitutional approach with its mutinous move.

Spokesperson of the Mutineers, Col. Maj. Ismael Wague, said in a statement read on national television that: “We are not keen on power but on the stability of the country, which will allow us to organise general elections within a reasonable time-frame to allow Mali to equip itself with strong institutions that are capable of managing our daily lives.

“In order to prevent the country from sinking, we, the patriotic forces gathered together in the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), have decided to take our responsibilities to ensure the continuity of the state and public services,” Wague said.

Wangue also announced a series of decisions coming into force on Wednesday until further notice, including the closure of all air and land borders, and a 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew.

However, United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, has called for the restoration of constitutional order and rule of law in the country.

Guterres in a statement in New York on Tuesday frowned at the development and expressed his full support to efforts by the African Union and the ECOWAS to resolves the crisis.

He also urged all stakeholders, particularly the defence and security forces, to exercise maximum restraint and uphold the human rights and individual freedoms of all Malians.

Earlier on Tuesday, a mutiny broke out at the Soundiata Keita camp in Kati where President Keita and his Prime Minister were detained by mutinous soldiers.

Subsequently, President Keita late on Tuesday announced his resignation and the dissolution of the National Assembly and the government on national television.

It may be recalled that the Jonathan-led Mediation Mission, at the end of various consultations with stakeholders, noted that the issues of the socio-political crisis revolved around governance issues as well as the points already raised by the ECOWAS Ministerial Mission of June 18 – 20, 2020.

These points include the reconstitution of the Constitutional Court subsequent to the abrogation of the decree appointing its members; addressing the disputed 31 seats in Parliament and the formulation of a Government of National Unity.

Also following consultations with stakeholders, the mission proposed way out of the crises in Mali. One is with regard to the reconstitution of the Constitutional Court. The Mission recommended that pending the resolution of disputes over legislative elections, that the Presidency of the Republic of Mali and the Supreme Legal Council to each appoint three (3) members of the Constitutional Court.

The president’s nominations were recommended to be made on a consensual basis by informing all the stakeholders, in conformity with 1992 Constitutional of the Republic of Mali. The six members of the Constitutional Court then meet the quorum requirements.

The Constitutional Court, reconstituted, was aimed to deliberate and review the results of the legislative elections of the 31 parliamentarians concerned.


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