On October 12, the authorities made public the draft new Constitution while the casting of the presidential election announced for February 2024 and supposed to bring civilians back to power remains to be established. The questions relate in particular to a possible candidacy of the strong man of Bamako, Colonel Assimi Goïta, knowing that the junta had initially affirmed that the president of the transition could not compete.
The “draft” does not address this point. On the other hand, it consolidates the presidential position. The The current constitution, dating from 1992, provides that “the government determines and conducts the policy of the Nation”. In the new Constitution, it is “the President of the Republic [qui] determines the policy of the Nation”, and the government [qui] conducts the policy of the Nation determined by the President”.
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The President appoints the Prime Minister and Ministers, and terminates their functions. “The government is responsible to the president”, and no longer to the National Assembly. The initiative for laws belongs “concurrently” to the President and the members of Parliament, and no longer to the government and the National Assembly.
“The Parliament, or the Assembly, will no longer be able to overthrow the government and, conversely, the President of the Republic will no longer be able to dissolve the National Assembly”, specified Fousseyni Samaké, the chairman of the commission responsible for drawing up the text.
Malian political actors have long agreed on the need for constitutional reform. The current Constitution is seen as a factor in the crisis Politics that crosses the country, scene of three coups since 1991 and five since independence. Political instability amplifies the serious security crisis underway since 2012, and the outbreak of separatist and jihadist insurgencies in the north of the country.
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The new text rules out the hypothesis of a federation, which would have conferred strong autonomy on the north of the country, the scene in the past of Tuareg rebellions demanding independence or a special status, Fousseyni Samake further indicated. Tuareg-dominated armed groups signed the so-called Algiers peace agreement with the state in 2015, granting more autonomy to the North.
Finally, the text written under a junta twice putschist, states that “any coup d’etat or putsch is an imprescriptible crime”.
The draft Constitution submitted to the transitional president, Colonel Assimi Goïta, on October 11, must be submitted to a referendum in March 2023. It is a key element of the vast reform project invoked by the military to remain until 2024.