Mali suspends political party activity

The decree was passed after more than 80 political parties and civil groups demanded presidential elections "as soon as possible" and an end to military rule 
El coronel maliense Assimi Goita - AP/BABA AHMED
Malian Colonel Assimi Goita - AP/BABA AHMED

The spokesman for Mali's coup government, Abdoulaye Maiga, has announced the suspension of the activities of the country's political parties, citing reasons of "public order". 

"Until further notice, for reasons of public order, the activities of political parties and the political activities of associations are suspended throughout the country," Maiga declared at a televised press conference.  

The decree, approved by the head of the military junta, Assimi Goita, comes after more than 80 political parties and civil groups issued a joint statement on 1 April calling for presidential elections "as soon as possible" and an end to military rule. "We will use all legal and legitimate means to restore normal constitutional order in our country," they said. 

According to UN data, at least four organisations have been dissolved in Mali since December 2023, including opposition-related groups. 

Choguel Maige, primer ministro del Gobierno provisiona de Mali - ARCHIVO/WEB OFICIAL PREFECTURA DE MALI
Choguel Maige, Prime Minister of Mali's interim government - FILE/OFFICIAL WEBSITE PREFECTURE OF MALI

Mali has been ruled by a military junta since August 2020, when the first of eight coups in West and Central Africa in the past four years, including military uprisings in neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso and Niger, took place.

Mali's current Russian-backed junta seized power after a second coup in 2021, promising to restore civilian rule on 26 March after elections it said would be held in February. 

Un partidario del presidente interino de Mali, Assimi Goita, sostiene su imagen durante una concentración a favor de la Junta y de Rusia en Bamako, el 13 de mayo de 2022 - PHOTO/AFP/OUSMANE MAKAVELI
A supporter of Assimi Goita holds his picture during a rally in favour of the military junta and Russia - PHOTO/AFP/OUSMANE MAKAVELI

However, the Goita-led junta announced last September that the elections would be postponed indefinitely for technical reasons, sparking outrage among political groups. 

This new decree strengthens the power of the coup government and accentuates the political instability of the Sahelian country, which also suffers from poverty and food insecurity, as well as continued terrorist attacks by groups loyal to al-Qaeda and Daesh.