Reeling From a Coup, Mali Sets Date For Elections Next Year

Mali’s interim government has fixed a date for general elections which will mark a return to civilian rule following a military coup last year.

The West African nation will hold a presidential and parliamentary vote on February 27, Minister for Territorial Administration Abdoulaye Maiga told journalists in the capital, Bamako, Thursday.

Second-round polls will be held on March 13 and March 20 respectively, where relevant, Maiga said. A referendum to review the constitution is also scheduled for Oct. 31 this year.

Mali is planning a return to civilian rule after an Aug. 18 coup overthrew former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. The transitional council governing the country is currently made up of a mix of military and civilian members.

The Economic Community of West African States had called on the military junta to organize elections within 18 months after the putsch. The 15-member bloc took a hard line against Mali, temporarily shutting borders and halting financial flows last year to force a return to democratic rule. Partners such as the U.S. have also put pressure for elections to be held.

Unrest in Mali has destabilized regional security in the past. The country has been a linchpin of international efforts, involving France and the European Union, to defeat insurgents in the semi-arid Sahel, which is headed for its deadliest year of Islamist-militant violence, with a record number of civilians killed in the first three months of 2021.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.