US urges Mali’s transitional government to take steps ahead of elections

WASHINGTON, June 9 (Reuters) – The United States on Thursday called on Mali’s transitional government to take steps towards holding elections, adding pressure on authorities in Kigali.

The junta that took power in August 2020 failed to deliver on its promise to hold elections in February, leading to sanctions from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The duration of the democratic transition has also deteriorated relations with Mali’s partners, first and foremost the United States and France.

“We urge Mali’s transitional government to take lasting and tangible steps towards the holding of elections, including detailed criteria and the rapid adoption of the electoral law,” a spokesman for the department said Thursday. US state.

Mali’s interim government said on Monday it would take 24 months, starting last March, to complete the democratic transition. Mali-The junta announces a democratic transition until March 2024

Mali’s putschists and regional heads of state are at odds over a proposed five-year electoral calendar, which was later cut to two years, a deadline that ECOWAS had previously dismissed as too long.

ECOWAS said on Tuesday it regretted the decision of Mali’s interim government to extend the country’s democratic transition by 24 months, while negotiations between the two sides were ongoing. ECOWAS regrets Mali’s decision to lead a democratic transition until March 2024

(Report Kanishka Singh in Washington; French version Federica Mileo)

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