A draft of a new constitution was presented to Colonel Assimi Goita, the head of Mali’s junta, on Tuesday. This is an important step in the military’s effort to maintain control of the nation beyond 2024.
The text of the “preliminary draft constitution” has not been made public and arrived two months after it was originally due, but the chair of the commission set up to write it said the deadline had been extended.
Fousseyni Samake warned Goita, “Any constitution will be subject to challenges, criticism and controversy,” the so-called transitional presidency said in a statement.
The military-dominated authorities of Mali, who took control in August 2020, list the creation of a new basic legislation as one of the necessary measures for the “refoundation” of the state.
After prolonging military rule until 2024, they established the commission in June and declared that a referendum on the constitution would be held in March 2023.
“The submission of the draft of the new Constitution is only one step in the process, as soon only the sovereign people will be called to a referendum to decide on the document. By adopting the new Constitution, it is the legal founding act of Malikura (term etymologically taken to mean a new Mali to the satisfaction of the masses, ed.) that the people will have sovereignly taken.” Assimi Goita, head of Mali’s ruling junta said Tuesday.
Under pressure, the military has agreed to hold elections in February 2024 and transfer authority in March of that year. In exchange, the dictatorship managed to have the Economic Community of West African States‘ sanctions lifted.
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