- The first round of voting will take place on 27 February 2022, with a second round in March, a senior government minister told reporters.
- A referendum on a long-promised overhaul of the constitution will take place later this year.
- Local and regional elections will take place in December.
Presidential and legislative elections in Mali will take place next February, the country’s post-coup government announced Thursday, saying it was honouring the timetable it promised to the international community.
The first round of voting will take place on 27 February 2022, with a second round in March, the minister of territorial administration, Lieutenant Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga, told reporters.
The dates “strictly uphold” promises of an 18-month transition for returning to elected government, he said.
A referendum on a long-promised overhaul of the constitution will take place on 31 October 2021, followed by local and regional elections on 26 December, Maiga added.
On 18 August last year, young military officers overthrew the country’s elected president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, after a mounting wave of protests, much of it fuelled by anger at his handling of Mali’s jihadist insurgency.
Under the threat of international sanctions, the officers handed power between September and October to a caretaker government, which is meant to rule for 18 months before staging elections.
The junta was officially disbanded in January, although the military has retained a tight grip on the interim government.
Maiga said the 31 October date for the plebiscite “takes into account the necessary time to carry out consultations, to draw up the draft constitution, to have it adopted by the National Transition Council (CNT) and finally have it adopted by referendum.” The CNT is Mali’s post-coup legislative body.
The pledge of an 18-month transition had spurred many doubts as to whether the military-dominated government had the will, or the ability, to stage elections on such a timescale.
The country also faces a major logistical and security challenge, as swathes of territory are in the hands of jihadists.
In February, the transitional prime minister, Moctar Ouane, told the CNT, “Every means will be deployed to organise free and transparent elections within the agreed timescale.”
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