The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has demanded an immediate civilian transition in Mali and elections within 12 months as they considered sanctions after rebel troops toppled the country’s president and seized power.
The demands were spelled out after the new junta released ousted president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, seized in the August 18 coup, but also apparently granted their new chief the powers of the head of state.
In a video conference anchored by the Chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of States and Government, Mahamadou Issoufou, he called on the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) leadership to immediately begin the process for a civilian transition in consultation with the constitutional court as well as all relevant parties and stakeholders.
He said: “The civilian transition should take into account the following consideration; appointment of a transition president, he should be a civilian and known for his professional qualities as well as intellectual and moral probity and shall be responsible for leading the transition. The transition president does not stand as a candidate in the next presidential election.
“Appointment of a Prime Minister, Head of Government, also a civilian, known for his professional qualities as well as intellectual and moral probity, and shall head the government under the supervision of the transition president. The Prime Minister will not also stand as a candidate in the next presidential election.”
He adds that the quick establishment of a transition government to address the urgent challenges facing Mali and in particular, to prepare the next parliamentary and presidential pools which may be combined elections and that no military body should be above the transition president.
Issoufou, noted that sanctions would be gradually lifted depending on the implementation of the bloc’s requests.
He further demands an urgent conclusion of a political transition agreement between ECOWAS and Mali and invites the African Union (AU) and the United Nations to endorse the agreement.
He commended the Mediator and his team for the results achieved during their mission and expressed his appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for the considerable logistics support extended to the ECOWAS mediation.