Akufo-Addo leads ECOWAS heads to review Mali's proposed plan

President of Ghana and Chair of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has led a meeting with his colleague heads of states and governments to review the five year proposed transition plan put before ECOWAS by military rulers in Mali.

Addressing the opening ceremony of an extraordinary session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government on the political situation in Mali at the Kempinski hotel in Accra, President Akufo-Addo said he is hopeful that he and his colleagues will take appropriate decisions that will advance the future of Mali’s democracy and the Community as a whole.

Narrating what has transpired since the last ordinary meeting of ECOWAS heads of states held in Abuja, Nigeria, on the 12 December 2021, President Akufo-Addo said he “received a ministerial delegation from Mali led by the Malian Foreign Minister, Abdoulaye Diop, on 31st December 2021, which communicated to him the chorogram of the transition that ECOWAS has been requesting for several months.”

President Akufo-Addo said “I was informed that the four-day national foundation reform conference initiated by the transitional authority recommended that elections should be held with a period of six months to five years to restore democracy in the country.”

The ECOWAS Chairman added: “The official proposal submitted to me by the transitional authority indicated that the transition period should run for between six months to five years.”

President Akufo-Addo further added that subsequent to the communication of 31 December 2021, by a letter to him dated the 7 January 2022, two days ago, the head of the Malian transition stated that the period had now been modified to four years.

President Akufo-Addo, therefore, told the ECOWAS leaders: “Excellencies, it is this decision that we are meeting to review to determine whether it is in compliance to the agreement reached on 15 September 2020, and embodied in the transition charter, and more fundamentally, whether it conforms to the Community principles as enshrined in the ECOWAS supplementary protocol on democracy and good governance.”

He said It was his expectation that ECOWAS leaders will take the appropriate decisions that will advance the future of Mali stressing “our Community, national, regional and international stakeholders are all awaiting the result of our meeting”. “I will, therefore, hope that the outcomes of our deliberations will contribute to the promotion of democracy and consolidating peace and security in Mali and out region,” he added.

Meanwhile, following the disclosure by the Malian transition authority, major political parties in Mali have said no to the military government’s five-year plan for transition to civilian rule.

Since August 2020, the military, led by Asimi Goita has carried out two coups and postponed elections.

Under the plan of the Military junta, a constitutional referendum would be held in 2023 and legislative elections in 2025, then a presidential election would not take place until 2026. The junta called its proposal “appropriate to conduct the political and institutional reforms.”