Experts appointed by the new military rulers of Mali have proposed a two-year transitional government led by an army-elected president, despite being called by West African leaders for elections within 12 months.
Friday’s recommendation came on the second day of talks In the capital Bamako, President Ibrahim Baubakar overthrew Keita with the aim of advancing in the wake of the military coup to be held on 18 August.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regional bloc has given troops until Tuesday for the name of a transitional president and prime minister. It is not said what he will do if his demands are not met.
In the eight-page “Charter of Transition”, constitutional experts wrote that a transitional period of 24 months was required “in light of the complexity, gravity and structural depth of the Malian crisis”.
He recommended that the soldiers behind the coup, who call themselves the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), elect the interim president and vice president and propose to the prime minister, who will be appointed by the interim president.
Under the proposal, the president would be a “civil or military personality”. This candidate must be between 35 and 75 years of age and will not be eligible to stand for election at the end of the transition, it said.
The recommendations have not yet been formally approved by CNSP representatives, political leaders and civil society groups participating in the talks, which are scheduled to conclude on Saturday.
The military rulers resolved to reinstate the civilian government and hold elections within a “reasonable time”, just hours after the coup.
But many participants on the Bamako forum are divided over issues such as how long a transition government should last, and what role the military should play.
Mali’s neighbors watched with concern, fearing that the country may move into chaos at the heart of the fight against armed groups in the Sahel region.
Mali’s years of violence, including Al-Qaeda and ISIL-linked armed groups fending off ethnic tensions while juggling for power, have also spread to neighboring countries of Niger and Burkina Faso, Which are destabilizing the wider region. A huge humanitarian crisis.
The military government initially talked about a three-year transition, according to Keita’s time remaining in his second five-year mandate, which would oversee a soldier.
Ghana is due to host a mini-summit of ECOWAS leaders next Tuesday, a spokesman for Ghana’s Foreign Ministry said.