Friday, May 24, 2024

Malians vote in referendum to pave way for elections

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

Malians are voting in a referendum on Sunday to change the constitution and make way for a return to democratic rule.

The country has been under the control of a ruling military junta since 2020 when a coup toppled President Keita.

The junta seized power in coups in 2020 and 2021 and promised to hold the referendum as part of a transition to democracy.

Mali has been under pressure from the West African regional bloc ECOWAS for sometime now to end the era of military rule.

“With this project, we are betting on the future of our state, the restoration of its authority, and the regained trust between institutions and citizens,” interim president Assimi Goita said in televised speech on Friday.

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“Now is the time to confirm our commitment to the new Mali,” he added.

The draft constitution that voters would be casting ballot on whether they agree to it or not includes updates the creation of a second parliamentary chamber to boost representation from across Mali.

The proposed establishment of a separate court of auditors for state spending will also bring Mali in line with a directive from the West African Economic and Monetary Union from 2000.

Not everyone is in support of the draft document with some opposition parties, pro-democracy groups and campaigners for the ‘No’ vote saying the non-democratically elected authorities such as the junta have no right to oversee a substantial constitutional overhaul.

They also say the proposed constitution hands excessive authority to the president over the legislative process.

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