Mali Junta Delays February Presidential Election For ‘Technical Reasons

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The two rounds of voting initially set for February 4 and 18, 2024 in Mali would be postponed according to a government spokesperson, Abdoulaye Maiga, on Monday.

Maiga, in a statement, attributed the postponement to “technical reasons”, adding that “those reasons include issues linked to the adoption this year of a new constitution and a review of the electoral lists.”

He also cited a dispute with the French company Idemia, which the junta says is involved in the census process.

Maiga further stated, “The new dates for the presidential election will be communicated later

Authorities are also refusing to organise legislative elections, initially scheduled for the end of 2023, before the presidential election.

The junta “has decided to organise, exclusively, the presidential election”, the statement said.

Other elections will be held on a schedule “established by the new authorities, under the directives of the new president”.

The postponement is yet another delay to the junta’s schedule for handing back power to elected civilians.

The soldiers, who carried out back-to-back coups in 2020 and 2021, had earlier promised legislative elections for February 2022.

But the junta, led by Assimi Goita, announced at the end of 2021 that it was unable to respect the timetable agreed with the regional bloc ECOWAS.

It said it needed more time to carry out deep reforms.

Monday’s statement made no mention of recent security developments, saying only that junta leader Goita intends “to return to a peaceful and secure constitutional order, after carrying out as a priority institutional political reforms”.