Mali: Constitutional Experts Recommend Two Year Transition Under Military Leader

Experts appointed by Mali’s new military rulers have proposed two years of military-led rule in the country following last month’s coup at talks held in the capital, Bamako, on Friday, reported Reuters. The recommendation defies the West African economic bloc ECOWAS’s call for elections within a year.

The coup by rebel military soldiers toppled Ibrahim Boubacar Keita last month.

ECOWAS, which stands for the Economic Community of West African States, has given the ruling junta a deadline of until Tuesday to name a transitional president and prime minister. It has not said what it will do if its demands are not met by then.

In an eight-page “charter of the transition” the constitutional experts suggested that a transitional period of 24 months was needed “in light of the complexity, the gravity and the structural depth of the Malian crisis”.

The experts recommended that the ruling junta, the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), should choose the interim president and vice president and propose the prime minister, who would be appointed by the interim president.

The representatives of the CNSP, political leaders, and civil society groups taking part in the talks have not yet formally approved the recommendations. The talks are set to end on Saturday.

Some Malian political leaders have insisted, along with ECOWAS, that the interim president should be a civilian, but the experts said the person could be a “civil or military personality”. According to the proposal, the candidate must be between the ages of 35 and 75 and would not be eligible to stand for election at the end of the transition.

The ECOWAS leaders are scheduled to attend a mini-summit in Ghana to discuss Mali’s political situation, a spokeswoman for Ghana’s foreign ministry said. It has not said what it will do if its demands are not met by then.

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