“Malian National Dialogue Recommends Military Stay in Power for Years, Backs Junta Chief for Presidency”

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Following a Malian national dialogue, which saw a significant opposition boycott, recommendations were made for the military rulers, who seized power in 2020, to extend their tenure for several more years.

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According to a statement aired on state television, hundreds of participants at the dialogue proposed that junta chief Colonel Assimi Goita should be a presidential candidate in future elections.

Boubacar Sow, the rapporteur of the steering committee for the consultations, disclosed that they suggested prolonging the transition “from two to five years” and endorsed Colonel Assimi Goita’s candidacy for the presidency.

If implemented, this would mean the colonels would retain power for an additional three years, extending their rule until 2027.

Furthermore, the dialogue recommended initiating “doctrinal dialogue with the so-called jihadist armed groups,” as stated by Sow.

However, a significant portion of the opposition refrained from participating in the dialogue, alleging that the military officers were using it as a means to perpetuate their grip on power.

Mali has been under junta rule since successive coups in 2020 and 2021, with the military pledging to transfer power through democratic elections. Despite this, the elections have been indefinitely postponed due to security concerns heightened by jihadist activities.

In April, all party political activities were suspended by the military authorities after stifling dissent from opponents, journalists, and human rights activists.

Colonel Assimi Goita maintained that the dialogue was “entirely inclusive,” emphasizing his desire for all Malians to engage and express themselves freely.


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