African community wants Mali to call elections as soon as possible | News

The West African mediator in the Mali crisis, Goodluck Jonathan, said it was imperative that the country return to democratic rule as soon as possible and not wait a five-year period.

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The comments by the diplomat and former Nigerian president came a day after Mali’s military-dominated legislature approved a plan allowing the military who seized power in August 2020 to remain in office for another five years.

The National Transitional Council (CNT) established a transitional period of up to five years before organizing elections, instead of the 18 months established after the 2020 coup, despite regional sanctions.

The new letter indicates that the duration of the transition will be in line with the aspirations expressed by the people during the national consultations last December.

“I cannot say with authority because I am not the president… but since I am the mediator, we feel that five years is too long for a transitional government,” said Jonathan, who is due to visit Mali next Thursday.

“I think the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) cannot accept it…we are going to negotiate more with them and see that they have to reduce it,” he added.

Jonathan also questioned the legitimacy of Mali’s parliament, the so-called CNT, which was hit by ECOWAS sanctions last November.

Mali has suffered three military-orchestrated coups in the last 10 years, the last one on May 23, 2021, when the transitional president, Bah Ndaw, and his prime minister, Moctar Ouané, were arrested.

The Malian Constitutional Court appointed the leader of the coup d’état, Colonel Assimi Goïta, as interim president a day later.