The transitional authorities announced on September 25, 2023, the indefinite postponement of the upcoming presidential election, along with the cancellation of other scheduled elections, in Mali. Bamako accuses a French company of “holding hostage” a database containing Malian civil registration data. Maître Mamadou Ismaïla Konaté, a lawyer and former Malian Minister of Justice, is dismayed by these explanations, saying, “I am not convinced at all; I believe they are trying to deceive the people.”
Mali’s transitional authorities declared on September 25, 2023, the postponement of the presidential election. Initially set for February 2024, this election, meant to mark the end of the transition, is now delayed to an unspecified date. Other elections, including legislative and municipal ones scheduled to be held before then, have been simply scrapped.
To justify this extension of the transition, Bamako accuses a French company of “holding hostage” administrative data. Maître Mamadou Ismaïla Konaté, a Malian lawyer and former Minister of Justice, is indignant at what he considers a deceitful explanation.
“I am not convinced at all, I believe they are trying to deceive the people,” Mamadou Ismaïla emphasizes. “There was a contract signed in 2018 with a service provider company, for an amount of 12 billion CFA francs [approximately 18 million euros, Ed.], of which the Malian government has already paid 7 billion. There is still 5 billion left.”
Mamadou continues, “Now, we have a government that suddenly comes forward to say, ‘After organizing the referendum, I am unable to hold the presidential election, and especially not the other elections, because I have to deal with a company that is holding me, hostage, denying me access to the Ravec [Civil Registration Census, Ed.] database.’ This reasoning is untenable! The government itself acknowledges being indebted to the tune of 5 billion CFA francs! I think it’s an evasive maneuver. We are going from difficult situations to even more challenging situations, all of which they create themselves to potentially justify their state of stagnation. But I believe this is entirely unacceptable for the Malian people.”
Maître Mamadou Ismaïla Konaté concludes, “Not only is this deceptive, but this approach reflects the publicly displayed desire to remain in power, forgetting that the will of the Malian people should take precedence over individual desires.”