Mali president dissolves constitutional court after unrest

Published July 12, 2020, 9:54 AM

by Agence-France-Presse

Mali’s embattled President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita announced the dissolution of the constitutional court on Saturday in an attempt to calm major civil unrest in the vulnerable African country.

Protesters set barricades to block the circulation on the Martyrs bridge of Bamako on July 11, 2020. - Malian Prime Minister Boubou Cisse on July 11, 2020 vowed to rapidly form a government "open to facing the challenges of the day", adding that four more people had died in the country's worst civil unrest in years. (Photo by MICHELE CATTANI / AFP)
Protesters set barricades to block the circulation on the Martyrs bridge of Bamako on July 11, 2020. (Photo by MICHELE CATTANI / AFP)

The court has been at the centre of controversy for months since it overturned provisional results for a parliamentary poll, triggering protests in several cities.

READ MORE: Mali opposition figures arrested as unrest death toll rises

These demonstrations have recently intensified into deadly unrest, with thousands rallying in the capital to demand Keita’s resignation over a long-running jihadist conflict, economic woes and perceived government corruption.

“I have decided to repeal the licences of the remaining members of the constitutional court,” the president said in an evening television address.

“This de facto dissolution of the court will enable us, from next week, to ask relevant authorities to nominate new members so that the reformed court can quickly help us find solutions to the disputes arising from the legislative elections,” he added.

Some of the nine members of the court have already resigned, and one is dead.

Keita said the remaining members’ dismissal would help Mali begin to implement the recommendations of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which has called for the government to review the results and hold new partial elections.

 
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