Tension continues to rise in Mali ahead of the upcoming referendum scheduled for the 9th of July.
Security forces in the country dispersed about a hundred demonstrators on Thursday morning, who had gathered to protest against the constitutional reform process in Bamako.
Lawmakers in the country passed a bill on June 2 that would allow for the review of the country’s February 1992 constitution in a bid to allow and pave way for institutional and government reforms.
“I came here above all as a Malian citizen, as a Republican to express my wish to say no to this revision of our Constitution, to this constitutional coup d’etat that the authorities in power are organizing,” said Master Soumy, a rapper and activist in the country.
If effected, the proposed constitutional changes will allow for the establishment of a senate, the adoption of reforms agreed to in the 2015 Algiers peace agreement an d larger powers for the president to appoint senior officials.
“We don’t want the president alone, to hold all the powers. The Senate has the authority to appoint the President, of all the other institutions, we do not agree with that.,” said one of the demonstrators.
Despite the opposition to revise the constitution, the government justifies its determination to do so saying it was concerned about “deficiencies and inadequacies” contained in the 1992 constitution.
Campaigns for the referendum vote will begin on June 23.