Mali crisis: ECOWAS leaders seek resignation of Speaker, 30 lawmakers

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The Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) has asked the speaker and 30 other lawmakers in the Malian parliament to resign in a latest attempt to restore peace in the crisis-ridden country.

The resignation of the lawmakers who are from constituencies believed to have helped President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita’s party to victory in the April parliamentary polls would pave way for fresh elections.

This formed part of the Declarations by the ECOWAS Heads of State at the extraordinary summit over the political crisis in Mali held virtually.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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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.

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