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ECOWAS says head of Mali’s transitional government won’t be allowed to run in next Presidential elections

Col. Assimi Goita, center, who has declared himself the leader of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, is accompanied by group spokesman Ismael Wague, left, and group member Malick Diaw, center-left, as they meet with a high-level delegation from the West African regional bloc known as ECOWAS, at the Ministry of Defense in Bamako, Mali, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. Top West African officials are arriving in Mali’s capital following a coup in the nation this week to meet with the junta leaders and the deposed president in efforts to negotiate a return to civilian rule. (AP Photo)

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said on Saturday the leader of the yet to be formed Transitional government will not be allowed to run in the country’s next elections.

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A declaration by ECOWAS Heads of State and Government urged the military junta which has remained in power since the ouster of President Ibrahim Boubacar to transfer power to a civilian-led transitional government.

The body said the transitional government will remain in power for one year, after which national elections will be held.

In the declaration, ECOWAS said the leader of the transitional government should be someone “known for his/her professional qualities as well as intellectual and moral probity.”

“The Transition President will not stand as a candidate in the next presidential election,” it added.

The latest development comes after the regional body said earlier this week it would also consider a transitional government led by a retired army officer.

ECOWAS deployed a mediation team to Mali last weekend in search of a peaceful solution to the political crisis there following the ouster of president Ibrahim Keita last week.

Keita and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse were arrested alongside other government officials after the military took power on 18 August following weeks of protests in the West African country. They were released earlier this week.

ECOWAS led other countries and organizations in condemning the ouster, but thousands of Malians later took to the streets to show their support for it.

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Written by PH

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