More than eighty political parties and civil society organizations in Mali are calling for the organization “as soon as possible” of a presidential election and the end of the transition in this Sahelian country led by a junta since 2020. They all recall , in two separate press releases, that the duration of the transition ended on March 26.

A first group made up of associations and political parties in Mali “asks the authorities in place, in view of the legal and institutional void (…) to create the conditions for rapid and inclusive consultation, for the establishment of a institutional architecture, with the aim of organizing, as soon as possible, the presidential election”, according to the terms of a press release published on the evening of Sunday March 31.

The signatories of the press release add that they will resort to “all legal and legitimate means, for the return” of Mali to normal constitutional order and in the concert of nations, guarantee of political stability.

Injunctions to national unity and repressive measures

The Network of Human Rights Defenders (RDDH), which brings together around fifty local organizations, launched, in another press release, the same appeal to the junta. “The country is going through enormous difficulties and the transition is not intended to resolve all of the country’s problems. It is time to end this impasse, especially since the last postponement of the transition expired on March 26,” underlines its president, Souleymane Camara, who calls for a return to “constitutional order.”

The junta led by Colonel Assimi Goïta decreed in June 2022 that the military would cede power to civilians at the end of a so-called transition period ending on March 26, 2024, after a presidential election scheduled for February of the same year . The military has since announced the postponement of the presidential election to a date still unknown. They gave no further indication of their intentions after March 26.

The expression of opposition, stifled by injunctions for national unity and repressive measures, has become exceptional under the junta. Since the putsch of August 2020, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has tried in vain to limit the military’s retention in power. The junta announced Mali’s withdrawal from ECOWAS at the end of January.