Election’s crack in Mali’s democracy

While the Mali governance is still preparing for the presidential elections in 29th of April, rest of Africa and other regions are doubting about it. Mali has been facing critical challenges since the beginning of the year, which have become even worse the recent week – the military conflict initiated by Mali soldiers has shown its power.

Mali soldiers stormed state television and announced early Thursday that they had seized control of the country, dissolving all of its institutions due to the nation’s mishandling of an insurgency in the north. In a television statement, the military officers representing the new leaders said they were “putting an end to the incompetent regime of Amadou Toumani Toure”, mainly having in mind the recent governance incapacity to suppress the Tuareg  rebellion in the north of the country and to fight against the terrorists. As well as the conflict in the north, the issues concerning military pay and supplies and overall dissatisfaction with the government’s handling of the situation are considering to be the causes of the coup, however, one of the biggest cause is considered to be  fall of Qadhafi.

Mutinous soldiers went to the offices of the state radio and TV broadcaster to announce the coup d'etat.

The world’s analysts, observing the situation, claim, that it’s very small possibility the elections will take place on the planned date due to some reasons the rebels might become even more fierce – according to the the United Nations humanitarian office, this conflict has already forced almost 200 thousand people to leave their homes since mid-January, besides, a food crisis threatens around 3 million people because of a prolonged drought in the northern region and governance is not able to care the people and the international community strongly condemns he coup and some of the countries have suspended the aid and governmental co-operation regarding the development operations already.

Gilles Yabi, an analyst for the International Crisis Group from Brussels, says, that it was quite surprising to have a military coup just before the elections in which, not only according to the constitution, but for real, the president was stepping down. “I understand the mutineers have no clear plan on what to do with power now” – said he. The observators from neighbourhood countries have also mentioned similar ideas. Kenya’s foreign minister, Moses Wetangula, is staying in Mali’s capital Bamako until it will become too dangerous, shared the message on Facebook on Thursday: “We are still concerned and worried about our safety.” A bit earlier he had mentioned that the situation got worse and the military forces closed the airport and some other important points.

The majority of public opinion is similar to G. Yabi. Alex Thurston, in his “Sahel blog”, summarizes the opinion pretty well: “Some see a major irony in the fact that presidential elections were scheduled for a little more than one month from now. I don’t. That fact clearly didn’t matter to the coup leaders and their supporters – a reminder that politics goes beyond elections and the actions of civilian politicians”.

Heavy gunfire was heard throughout Bamako on Wednesday and tyres were lit in the street.


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