Africa Elections Mali News

Malians React to Election Postponement

Following the announcement that Mali’s presidential election will be postponed, the reactions of locals in Bamako were mixed.

Monday’s announcement by the ruling junta that the presidential election originally scheduled for February 2024 would be delayed to a later date has led some Malians to voice their dismay. 

“”For us, each extension will always lead to another extension. [The postponement] is deplorable because one of the principles of the Republic is the respect of our commitments,” says Makan Souaré, a member of Yelema Party. 

Others remain hopeful that the junta will stay true to their word. 

“I think they will make every effort to be able to try again to solve these technical problems that have been cited and to hold the elections on another date,” says Samba B. Bah, an activist. 

The junta, led by Assimi Goïta, has said the delay is due to technical reasons, including the adoption this year of a new constitution and an electoral list review. 

Earlier postponements to the junta’s schedule for handing back power to elected civilians led to regional bloc ECOWAS imposing heavy sanctions on Mali in early 2022. 

Bending to ECOWAS’ pressure, the junta agreed to leave power in March 2024 and announced an updated electoral calendar that set the presidential election for February 2024. As a result, sanctions were lifted in July 2022. 

The government has yet to announce new dates, saying they will be communicated at a later stage.

Legislative elections originally scheduled for the end of 2023 have also been delayed until after the presidential election takes place.