Mali’s post-coup prime minister said presidential and legislative elections set for next February could be pushed back to avoid their validity being contested.
Under pressure from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), following the August 2020 overthrow of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Mali’s new military leaders agreed to an 18-month transition that would end with presidential and legislative elections on February 27, 2022.
In an interview with Radio France International and France24 on Sunday, Mali’s interim Prime Minister, Choguel Maiga, said that date could be postponed by “two weeks, two months, and a few months”.
“[The electoral calendar] was based on the requirements of ECOWAS without asking what practical steps must be taken to get there,” Maiga said. “The main thing for us is less to stick to February 27 than to hold elections that will not be contested.”
Maiga said a final date would be determined by late October.
Last month ECOWAS said it would impose sanctions, including asset freezes, on anyone holding up preparations for Mali’s elections.