Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Mali’s new draft constitution gets 97% approval at referendum

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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.

Mali’s new draft constitution has secured a 97 percent approval at last week’s held referendum, official results showed.

The new constitution was submitted for it to be voted on by the current junta in power since 2020.

The electoral authority said in Bamako on Friday that the turnout at the referendum was 39.40%.

The new draft constitution for many watchers should pave way for Mali to return to constitutional and democratic regime.

The new document makes room for the creation of a second parliamentary chamber to boost representation from across Mali.

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

Critics however say the proposed constitution hands excessive authority to the president over the legislative process.

Junta leader and interim President Assimi Goïta has said that he was “convinced that this referendum paves the way for a new, strong, efficient and emerging Mali, but above all a Mali at the service of the wellbeing of the people”.

The referendum was marred by some incidents and irregularities, according to observers and opponents of the reform.

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.

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