Mali: Oumar Mariko Aims to Highlight Transition’s Record Before Demanding Elections

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Inter-Malian dialogue, suspension of political organizations’ activities, and the official end of the transition period on March 26th – although authorities remain firmly in place – are all subjects causing indignation among opposition parties.

Mariko also deems the Malian transitional authorities “illegal” and “illegitimate.” He acknowledges that March 26th marked, according to their commitments, the end of the transition.

However, Oumar Mariko and his Sadi party are not members of the various opposition coalitions demanding the rapid organization of a presidential election to restore constitutional order. “These people will hold elections,” Mariko asserts. “They will hold elections at their own pace, tailored to their needs. They have not yet agreed on who their candidate will be, who will be president, but once they have resolved this contradiction, they will hold elections.”

Before discussing elections, and credible elections at that, Oumar Mariko aims to shift the balance of power and increase dissent by alerting Malians to what he sees as the true record of the current regime. This record is characterized by the restriction of freedoms of opinion and expression – dissenting voices imprisoned, political activities of parties and associations suspended – and by a deterioration of the security situation.

“Today, the junta is not popular at all,” asserts the exiled opposition figure. “It clings to power through fear and repression. To be able to achieve resistance, we need to deconstruct the discourse surrounding peace, which is nothing but propaganda. We need to show Malians that the junta does not control the territory, that innocent people are being killed by the junta and by Wagner, that Malian soldiers are falling, but that the exact toll is not being accounted for.”

Last week, transitional Prime Minister Choguel Maïga explained that Mali’s stabilization was underway but that this phase was not yet “sufficiently stable to organize elections.”

As for Oumar Mariko, he is scheduled to appear before Malian justice on April 29th, the date set for the trial of his party, Sadi, which is threatened with dissolution.


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