Mali announces postponed voting date, pledging democracy.


The Mali military government has pushed back the date of a constitutional referendum that was meant to pave the way for presidential elections next year to Friday.

The first in a series of elections aimed at restoring democracy in the West African country was scheduled for March 19, 2020, after two military takeovers in August of 2020.

Election authorities required extra time to set up in all 19 administrative districts of Mali, therefore the date was moved back several days.

On national television on Friday, government spokesman Abdoulaye Maiga announced the revised referendum date of June 18. He went on to remark that the new date demonstrated that the administration had honored its democratic pledges.

Mali’s junta has suggested prolonged transition timelines in defiance of regional and international demands to return to democratic management as soon as possible after declaring elections for February of last year but failing to deliver on that pledge.

The administration was faced with hefty sanctions at the start of 2022 for failing to meet its obligations to the region’s key economic and political bloc, ECOWAS.

After months of negotiations with its authorities, the group agreed to a fresh 24-month transition commencing in March 2022. The suspension of Mali from the bloc has been lifted, but sanctions remain in force.

The next presidential election date is February 20, 2024.

Anger over the government’s failure to curb the spread of a violent Islamist insurgency throughout West Africa during the preceding decade played a part in both Mali coups.

Two military coups happened in neighboring Burkina Faso a year ago for identical reasons. The administration has said that democracy would be restored by July of next year.

Former military rulers in both countries have said that increased security concerns impeded early elections.


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