‘Framework for collective efforts essential for return to constitutional order,’ says bloc’s top official
The African Union Commission (AUC) on Tuesday welcomed the announcement by Mali’s transitional authorities to hold a referendum on a new constitution in mid-June.
The constitutional referendum in the West African country will be held on June 18, according to a presidential decree.
The new draft constitution intends to strengthen the president’s powers and relegate the French language, which is currently the official language, to the status of “working language.”
AUC Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat welcomed the decision, calling it “the framework for collective efforts essential for the return to constitutional order.”
Mali has been ruled by the transition government since the military coup on August 18, 2020.
Malian authorities must remain open to all political and social actors so that they can collaborate to ensure the referendum’s success while putting the country’s interests first, Mahamat emphasized.
The transition authorities have made efforts, including the establishment of an independent electoral body and related mechanisms, to ensure the transition timetable is implemented quickly and effectively, he said.
He also called on religious groups, civil society, and other stakeholders to “engage constructively with the transitional authorities in building an inclusive, democratic, and capable state.”
He stressed the importance of inclusive, transparent, and credible transition management before the general elections, which are scheduled for March of next year.
The current term of the transitional authorities will expire in Feb. 2024.
As a prelude to the referendum, members of the security forces will vote in advance on June 11, according to the presidential decree.