//Mali: Leaders Discuss 2-year Transition Civilian Government

Mali: Leaders Discuss 2-year Transition Civilian Government

A proposal to appoint a two-year transitional civilian government, heavily influenced by the military junta is being debated in Mali

The proposal, made by junta-appointed experts, has been submitted to about 500 participants from political parties, unions and NGOs, at a three-day conference in the capital Bamako.

The talks mark the second round of discussions between the young officers who overthrew President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on August 18 and civilian representatives, many of whom had campaigned for him to resign.

The junta, just hours after the coup, pledged to restore civilian government and stage elections within a “reasonable time”.

But many participants at the forum are divided over issues such as how long a transition government should last, and what role the army should play.

Under the proposals to be discussed on Friday, which were seen by KnowAfrika, the military would retain a strong hold on government.

A two-year transitional government would be led by a president picked by the army, for example, although the text stipulates that the office could be filled by either a “civil or military personal–ity”.

The president would also nominate the prime minister, according to the text, and an army officer would lead a proposed 51-member legislative body, dubbed the “national transition council”.

Whoever is appointed president would be unable to run for president at the end of the two-year transition, however.

The prime minister would likewise be forbidden from running for office.

The delegates to the Bamako forum have separated into five separate groups to discuss the text, among other issues.

The junta had initially talked of a three-year transition, corresponding to the time left in Keita’s second five-year mandate, that would be overseen by a soldier.

(AFP)