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Malian military leader signs election law that will allow him contest in 2024: Is this deja vu?

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Leader of the Malian military junta, Col. Assimi Goita, has signed a new law which will pave the way for elections in 2024 and a return of the West African country to constitutional rule.

Col. Goita who has been president of the transitional government since seizing power in a coup two years ago, signed the law on Friday which will create a single election management body to replace a disputed three-party system.

The new law would also allow Goita and other military members of the transitional government eligible to run for elective positions in the next presidential election.

The law is seen as a step in the right direction after the West Africa regional bloc, the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), imposed stiff sanctions on Mali earlier this year after the military rulers refused to organise elections in February as planned.

Mali and the 15-member ECOWAS have also been at logger heads over the coup leaders’ proposed five year timeline to elections, before proposing a two-year timeline, which ECOWAS deemed was too long.

The interim military government had, onJune 6, issued a decree fixing the two-year timetable, to be counted from March 2022, while negotiations with ECOWAS were still ongoing.

The law which gives room for Col. Goita to contest in the Mali election sounds like a deja vu situation too familiar with military coup leaders on the African continent, many of whom, over the years, transformed into civilian leaders, comfortably shedding their khaki uniforms for a civilian garb depending on the country’s national and traditional wear.

Goita does not lack inspiration as several examples abound from the length and breadth of Africa where the leaders ride into power on the barrels of guns but end up transforming into civilian presidents.

Africa will not forget the likes of Muamar Gaddafi in Libya, Thomas Sankara in Burkina Faso, Idi Amin Dada and Yoweri Museveni in
Uganda, Paul Kagame in Rwanda,
Hosni Mubarak and Mohamed Hussein Tantawi in Egypt, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in Equatorial Guinea, Yahya Jammeh in The Gambia.

Others in the distinguished list include Jerry Rawlings in Ghana, Omar al-Bashir in Sudan, Gnassingbé Eyadéma in Togo, Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaire, and a host of other African leaders who went from military head of states to civilian presidents.

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Tunisia: Government, labour union, UGTT, agree on IMF intervention

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In Tunisia, the government of president Saide has finally reach agreement with the country’s main labour and commerce unions for economic reforms.

The pressure groups agreed with the government on Friday to start talks on Monday over economic reforms required by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a rescue programme.

According to the state news agency ,TAP, quoting a government statement, Prime Minister Najla Bouden, UGTT labour union chief Noureddine Taboubi and UTICA commerce union chief Samir Majoul had agreed a “social contract” to tackle national challenges.

The UGTT which represents a vast syndicate of workers, has been a major critic of IMF economic reforms proposed by the government, including subsidy cuts, a public sector wage freeze and the restructuring of state-owned companies. It previously said, such reforms would increase the suffering of Tunisians and lead to an imminent social implosion.

In May, Tunisia reached an agreement with the European Union to secure a €300 million loan facility to cushion the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

The North Africa country is seeking $4 billion in IMF support amid the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine, though diplomat sources told Reuters any IMF programme approved would be unlikely to reach that level.

Efforts to secure the IMF bailout have been complicated by Tunisia’s political upheavals since President Kais Saied seized most powers a year ago, shutting down parliament and moving to rule by decree.

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Mali’s Prime Minister, Choguel Maiga, on “forced rest” by doctors

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The Prime Minister’s office in troubled West African country, Mali has revealed that doctors have put the PM, Choguel Maiga on compulsory rest.

The doctors’ order comes after months of intense exertion, his office said on Saturday. The office however denied media reports that he had been hospitalised after suffering a stroke.

An exert from his Facebook account reads “After 14 months of working without a break, the prime minister, head of government, Choguel Kokalla Maiga was placed on forced rest by his doctor”

“He will resume his activities next week, God-willing.”

Maiga, who is a former opposition leader, was named prime minister by the ruling junta of Colonel Goita June last year.

Maiga has been one of the government’s most outspoken voices in repeated public rows with West African neighbours and international partners who have criticised its military cooperation with Russian mercenaries and repeated election delays.

Mali has been in the eye of terror storm since war started in January 2012 between the northern and southern parts of Mali in Africa with several insurgent groups, Jihadist and separatist fighters with affiliations with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

Despite, insecurity being one of excused reasons for Colonel Goita’s military take government, much does not seemed to have been achieved as the country is still prone to continues terrorists attacks.

 

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