In Mali, the traditional authorities, particularly composed of military personnel, unveiled on Thursday, April 15, the electoral calendar that will make it possible to elect the head of state and the deputies. They announced that the presidential and legislative elections will be held in February and March 2022. For the time being, a referendum to reform the Constitution will be held towards the end of October 2021. This presidential election is an essential step in returning power to civilians following the coup d’état perpetrated against Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on 18 August 2020.
The transition is expected to take place in Mali soon after the hasty departure of Ibrahima Boubacar Keita following a violent popular uprising in 2020. The military plans to hold presidential and legislative elections in 2022. According to the Minister of Territorial Administration, Lieutenant-Colonel Abdoulaye Maïga, the first rounds of the presidential and legislative elections will take place on February 27, 2022 while the second rounds will take place respectively on March 13 and 20. Regional and local elections are also scheduled for 26 December 2020. This calendar was long demanded by the international community after a long phase of military transition.
However, before these electoral deadlines that mark the transition, a referendum should be held on 31 October 2020 to revise the Constitution, long promised by politicians but never implemented.
Between September and October 2020, the colonels who drove Ibrahim Boubacar Keita out of power showed a willingness to respect the rule of law and democratic principles. They set up transitional bodies (Presidency, Prime Minister and Government, legislative body). They also made a firm commitment to return power to democratically elected civilians after the 18 months of transition. “Every effort will be made to organise, within the agreed deadlines, free and transparent elections”, declared Moctar Ouane, Prime Minister of the transition in his general policy speech in February 2021.
The United Nations (UN) endorses this move towards a rapid transition for Mali to regain its democratic and republican forces. These elections represent the decisive test of the current transition and a necessary step towards Mali’s return to constitutional rule,” said Jean-Pierre Lacroix, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations.