Mali’s lawmakers have approved a plan allowing the military government to rule for up to five years, despite regional sanctions imposed on the country over delayed elections. The army-dominated legislature also decided that the country’s interim president cannot stand for a future democratic election, as part of the same bill. It also voted to forbid the interim president from standing for future election. Of the lawmakers attending the vote, none voted against the bill or abstained. The bill does not mention Mali’s interim President Colonel Assimi Goita by name – leaving open the possibility that he could run if he steps down ahead of a future election. After staging a coup in the impoverished Sahel state in August 2020, Mali’s military rulers initially promised to stage a vote in February 2022. But in December last year, the military government proposed staying in power for between six months and five years, citing security concerns. ECOWAS stated that its mediator for Mali, former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, will visit the capital Bamako on Thursday.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA