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Mali political parties demand junta respect transition schedule

Mali junta leader Colonel Assimi Goita   -  
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NIPAH DENNIS/AFP or licensors


A coalition of political parties sat in Bamako Saturday to demand the country's junta organize elections next year.

Mali's army rulers have been accused of dragging their feet on the transition calendar, which prescribes a return to civilian rule by February 2022.

"We, the political parties and groupings of political parties of the framework for a successful transition in Mali, no longer understand the totally contradictory logic of the government, which endangers the evolution of the transition and relations with our partners concerning the electoral timetable, institutional reforms and the revision of texts," said Amadou Koïta, spokesperson for the political parties and groupings of political parties in the framework of exchange for a successful transition in Mali. 

In recent weeks, UN and ECOWAS delegations have been to Bamako in a bid to pressurize the authorities to move towards organizing elections. 

Prime Minister Choguel Miaga has said that the polls could be delayed for months.

"In case of prolongation of the transition without a consensual debate with all the sons of this country there, we have legal means that are guaranteed to us by the Malian constitution. We will very soon also invade the Boulevard of Independence very very soon to make ourselves heard," said Abacary Touré, an opposition activist.

Mali's transition was rocked by a May coup in which junta leader Colonel Assimi Goita overthrew the interim administration in which he served as vice president. 

Civil society groups have accused the military of seeking to hold on to power. 

West African leaders are meeting on Sunday with Mali and Guinea top of the agenda.

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