9 January 2022
The Socialist International is deeply concerned by the delays announced to elections due to be held in Mali next month and calls on the transitional government to expedite the restoration of democracy in the country. It is unacceptable to all democrats that Mali, which has suffered two military coups in the last 18 months, is facing an extended period under the leadership of a regime that took power through a coup and has no democratic legitimacy.
The possibility raised by the recommendations of the National Refoundation Conference that elections are delayed by up to five years risks setting a dangerous precedent where those who have overthrown democratically elected governments are able to maintain a grip on power indefinitely without elections. If this goes unchallenged, Mali and other countries of the region could be further destabilised, as other groups may seek to overturn governments by force in the absence of elections, in particular if there are no serious consequences to this clear subversion of the democratic process.
In this regard, the SI is encouraged by the firm position taken by ECOWAS today in response to the announcement of the delay, and urges the transitional government to stick to the agreed timeframe for the elections. Any delay to the holding of elections beyond 27 February is in direct contradiction to the agreement reached by the transitional government and ECOWAS in the wake of the most recent coup in May 2021.
The SI reiterates its view that the current interim president came to power illegitimately and its vigorous condemnation of the military coups he led, which have stolen democracy away from the people of Mali. The SI member parties in Mali, the RPM and ADEMA-PASJ, continue to play a leading role among the democratic forces in the country and have our full support and solidarity. Only through the restoration of democracy can full rights and freedoms be guaranteed for all Malians.