A bill drafted by Mali’s military would exclude junta chief Colonel Assimi Goita from standing in any future presidential election, according to a document seen Saturday by AFP.
The document stipulates that “the president of the transition is not eligible for the presidential and legislative elections” held to make the transition from military to civilian rule.
But the text remains vague on the date of the awaited election, a point of contention between the Malian regime and the West African bloc ECOWAS.
After the junta postponed promised elections following 2020’s coup, the Economic Community of West African States imposed a trade embargo.
Member states also closed borders with Mali, a move backed by France, the United States and the European Union.
The junta had proposed staying in power for up to five years before staging elections — despite an earlier commitment to hold a vote on February 27.
The National Transitional Council (CNT), the legislative body set up by the military after the August 2020 coup, on Friday began to examine a text reforming the “transition charter”, AFP correspondents learned.
On Wednesday, the junta said it was in talks with ECOWAS, as well as other organisations, to find a “compromise” on restoring civilian rule.
The junta has pledged to restore civilian rule, but it argues that rampant insecurity prevents it from holding swift elections.
Mali has been struggling to contain a jihadist insurgency that first emerged in 2012 and has since spread to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.
The charter promulgated by the military on October 1, 2020 originally set the transition at 18 months.
But that was “untenable”, Goita said in an accompanying letter sent to the CNT, again stressing the need for reforms.
The document stipulates that “the president of the transition is not eligible for the presidential and legislative elections” that will take place after the transition from military to civilian rule.