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Mali: ECOWAS recommends resignation of 31 lawmakers

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Mali: ECOWAS recommends resignation of 31 lawmakers

By Victoria Ojeme

The leaders of the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) has urged the 31 lawmakers in the Malian parliament to resign as they push for a peace deal.

This was part of Declarations by the ECOWAS Heads of State at the extraordinary summit online over the political crisis in Mali.

The West African leaders urged Mali’s opposition groups to join the country’s new unity government in a bid to end a political stalemate that threatens to tear the country apart.

The new government of six members has been tasked with solving the country’s protracted political crisis.

Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has been without a government since April. He made the appointments under pressure from ECOWAS, which has been involved in mediating the crisis.

ECOWAS hopes the new government will end the ongoing political rift between Keita and opposition groups. The bloc has also threatened to impose sanctions on any state or body who may stand in the way of resolving the crisis.

READ ALSO: Nigeria contributed $1.17bn to ECOWAS in 16 years

Political instability in Mali is seen as a dangerous development for the entire Sahel region, which is already threatened by numerous terrorist and separatist groups.

ECOWAS also asked Mali’s 31 current parliamentarians to resign – including the speaker of the National Assembly – in order to pave the way for new elections. The lawmakers are from constituencies believed to have helped Keita’s party to victory in the April parliamentary polls.

Tens of thousands of opposition supporters have since accused Keita of using intimidation tactics and buying votes in the controversial election. Talks between the government and the opposition – which is led by popular cleric Mahmoud Dicko, a former ally of Keita – have so far failed.

However, one member of the new cabinet – Economy Minister Abdoulaye Daffe – is considered to be close to Imam Dicko, who has become the figurehead of the protest coalition.

ECOWAS also called for the immediate recomposition of the Constitutional Court of Mali according to legal provisions in force in Mali.

The heads of state also called for investigation into the causes of the July 10, 11 and 12 crisis, defy those who are responsible for the deaths and destruction of properties.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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