Mali’s military junta said on Friday it was organizing a referendum on a new constitution for June 18, a key step towards a return to constitutional government and a new presidential election scheduled for next year in the West African country.
JIHADI INCREASE LIVESTOCK BREEDS IN MALI, FEELING THE CONFLICT
The referendum, in which voters can choose to accept or reject a draft already contested by political opponents, was due to take place in March but has been postponed.
The announcement of the new date was made on national television by the government spokesman, Minister Abdoulaye Maiga. The draft constitution published by the junta in March this year would greatly strengthen the president’s power. The head of state, rather than the government “determining the policy of the nation”, appoints the prime minister and ministers, and has the right to terminate their functions, according to the proposal.
FRANCE WITHDRAWS ITS LAST SOLDIERS FROM MALI
Armed movements that fought for northern Mali’s independence but agreed to a peace deal in 2015 say the draft constitution will not take into account the provisions of the peace deal. Mali has been ruled by a military junta since the 2020 coup against an elected president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. Since 2013, it has faced destabilizing attacks by armed extremist groups linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
In 2021, France and its European partners engaged in the fight against extremists in northern Mali withdrew from the country after the junta brought in mercenaries from the Russian Wagner group.