Mali postpones presidential election

Lazy eyes listen


Mali’s ruling junta announced on Monday that the presidential election slated for February of next year has been postponed. The poll was expected to help restore civilian rule in the jihadist-ravaged West African country.

The two rounds of voting, which were supposed to take place on February 4 and February 18, “will be slightly delayed due to technical reasons,” said government spokesman Abdoulaye Maiga on Monday.

“The new dates for the presidential election will be communicated later,” Maiga stated.

The military administration of the country blamed the delay on the passage of a new constitution, the update of electoral lists, and problems with a census database. A dispute with the French corporation Idemia, which the junta alleges is involved in the census process, was cited by a government official.

The authorities are also refusing to organize legislative elections that were originally scheduled for the end of 2023 before the presidential election. According to a statement, the country’s leadership “has decided to organise, exclusively, the presidential election.” 

Following pressure from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Mali’s military leaders had committed to holding the election in February. As a result of this pledge, the regional bloc lifted a set of trade and financial sanctions on Mali. 

In January 2022, the military government decided to rule for up to five years before enacting a transition of power, a step that led to additional sanctions being imposed that same month. 

This past June, Malians voted in a referendum to adopt a new constitution that granted the head of state sweeping powers. The vote had been repeatedly postponed.   

The military leaders had also promised to hold legislative elections in February 2022. However, the junta, which is led by military officer Assimi Goita, announced that it was unable to adhere to the timetable agreed upon with ECOWAS at the end of 2021.