Malian Coalition Appeals to Supreme Court to Overturn Junta’s Political Activity Ban

FILE PHOTO: Supporters of Mali's M5-RFP opposition coalition, gather during a rally to mark a year since the start of protest marches that contributed to the ouster of former President Ibrahim Boubakar Keita at the Independence Square in Bamako, Mali June 4, 2021. REUTERS/Amadou Keita/File Photo

A coalition of Malian political parties and civil society organizations has urged the Malian Supreme Court to overturn the junta’s decision to halt political activities, stating that it is oppressive and undermines democratic principles.

Since the 2020 coup, Mali has been under military rule, and recent tensions have escalated due to the government’s failure to organize promised elections and its subsequent imposition of restrictions on political life in the name of maintaining public order.

The group opposing the April 10 decree has jointly appealed to Mali’s highest court, aiming to annul the decree they deem tyrannical and oppressive. The timing of the court’s consideration of the appeal remains uncertain.

Following a second coup in 2021, Mali’s current junta pledged to reinstate civilian governance by March 2024 after holding elections in February of that year. However, last September, authorities indefinitely postponed the February elections due to technical reasons, sparking concerns about democratic regression in West and Central Africa, where eight coups have occurred in the past four years.

Drissa Traore, Secretary-General of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), condemned the decree as an attempt to restrict civic space and seize power, labeling it as a move towards an unprecedented dictatorial regime in Mali.