The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Tuesday said it was worried Mali’s transitional government has not made enough progress toward organising elections for February as agreed after a military coup last year.
In May 2021, President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was overthrown by Colonel Assimi Goita, who is now Vice President of the interim government, accused the pair of violating the transitional charter.
Also, Keita’s overthrow was largely precipitated by Mali’s security crisis, which has seen militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State extend their influence across the north and centre of the country.
Under pressure from the West Africa’s main regional bloc, Mali’s military leaders agreed to an 18-month transition, culminating in presidential and legislative elections in February 2022.
“The mission remains concerned by the insufficiency of concrete actions in the preparation of the electoral process,” ECOWAS said in a statement at the end of a visit by an ECOWAS delegation led by former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.
Despite Mali’s government saying it is conscious of its commitment to the electoral deadline, some officials have suggested it might not be respected.
“Technically, the timeline is not feasible, unless things are done sloppily, resulting in the usual post-electoral crises,” Bassirou Ben Doumbia, a political analyst, said.