Faced with the mobilization of opposition and Malian civil society, the draft constitutional referendum, scheduled for 9 July, had been postponed. The opposition asked the Constitutional Court to deliver an opinion on the unconstitutionality of the draft, arguing that the referendum could not be held in the north of the country.
On this point, the Court did not give him reason Wednesday 5 July. But she nevertheless asks President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta to review his copy, mainly on inaccuracies. The text must therefore go back to the National Assembly.
The Court confirms that the draft constitutional amendment is in conformity with the 1992 Constitution, so there is no victory for the opposition. The secretary general of the RPM, the party of the president, Baber Gano, is serene: no question for the president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta to withdraw the project.
“Today, Mali is not a territory occupied by foreigners; There is no foreign force present in Mali, he insists. Therefore, section 118 is not an argument that could prevent a referendum. There are no foreign forces present on the national territory. On the contrary, the agreement is at the beginning of implementation, its implementation allowed the government of Mali to put the interim authorities. The Court’s judgment confirms that the draft constitutional revision proposed by the President of the Republic is in conformity with the Constitution of 27 February 1992, so there is no victory for the opposition. “
In its judgment, the Constitutional Court recognizes a residual insecurity in northern Mali, but does not recognize that the integrity of the territory is being violated. Clearly, the referendum on the draft new Constitution can be held in the northern Mali.
“We will not give up”
IBK, however, must review its copy and re-present it to Members of Parliament, but on imprecision or technical details, such as the terms of reference for future Senators. Two thirds are indirectly elected for five renewable years, but no mention of the term of office of those appointed by the Presidency, ie one third of the Senate. An unfortunate oversight, as it were.
The opposition leader of the National Assembly, Soumaïla Cissé, is not surprised by the opinion of the Constitutional Court. “The Court’s decision is not surprising for two reasons,” he explains. “The first is the visit of the President of the Constitutional Court to the President of the Republic on the day of the feast of Kority , As if to take instructions, the second thing is that the president has already said at the G5 meeting that the referendum will take place. That is, he knew the outcome and he even proposed dates on July 23 or July 30. “
But the opposition should meet in the coming days. “We will fight and we will not give up,” says Soumaïla Cissé, who considers that this project does not consolidate peace in the North. But will make IBK a super president, with increased powers.
Written by Fabrice Hakizimana.