French foreign minister says Paris insists on new elections in Mali

The Republic supports the demands put forward by the Economic Community of West African States, Jean-Yves Le Drian said

French foreign minister says Paris insists on new elections in Mali

France is in favour of holding new presidential elections in Mali before the end of February 2022 and supports the demands made on Mali by the states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) after the Extraordinary Summit on Sunday. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Monday.

“France reiterates its strong condemnation of the coup d’état in Mali that led to the forced resignation of President Ba Ndao and his Prime Minister on 26 May”, –  the Foreign Ministry’s press office quoted the minister as saying. – “France shares the ECOWAS demand that presidential elections be organized by 27 February 2022 under the strict conditions set out by the Heads of State and Government in their communiqué of 30 May. We support the establishment of a mechanism to monitor the implementation of the transition period.”

An ECOWAS emergency summit was held in Ghana’s capital Accra on Sunday to address the political crisis in Mali that arose after the military seized power by arresting interim President Ba Ndao and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane on 24 May. After 48 hours in custody at an army base, both politicians said they were stepping down from their posts. Mali’s constitutional court ruled on Friday that Vice-President Colonel Assimi Goita had become interim president. An emergency summit of ECOWAS decided to suspend Mali’s membership in the organisation due to the political crisis in the country. The community also called for the immediate appointment of an interim civilian prime minister for Mali.

This is the second time in nine months that ECOWAS has held talks with the military to return civilian rule to Mali. The organisation imposed sanctions against the Malian regime after a military coup on 18 August 2020, which were lifted after the military agreed to a civilian-led government and to the election of an interim president for Mali. Retired defence minister Colonel Ba Ndao was elected interim president on 21 September and coup leader Assimi Goita became vice president. Ba Ndao appointed Moctar Ouane, who was formerly head of the Foreign Ministry, as head of Mali’s interim government on 27 September. The military also announced that Mali would undergo a transition period and return to democratic rule through presidential and parliamentary elections to be held 18 months after they seized power.

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