Mali’s constitutional referendum

Nigeria's structure and composition are a legacy of British colonial rule. The country has gone through many divergent society with rampant political corruption and as a result has had many attempts to form an effective constitution. These efforts include civilian and military rule, centrifugal and centralized federalism, presidential and parliamentary systems, and other political institutions.

The constitutions include the Clifford Constitution of 1922, the Richards Constitution of 1946, the Macpherson Constitution of 1951,and the Lyttleton Constitution of 1954.

The head of the drafting committee of the constitution  Mr. Fousseyni Samaké, rules out the idea of a federation. The preliminary draft constitution is supposed to be submitted to a referendum on March 2023. Malian authorities, dominated by the military which seized power in August 2020, cite a revised constitution as crucial for the “renewal” of the state. They announced the commission in June after extending military rule until 2024. The military has pledged under pressure to hold elections in February 2024 and to hand over power in March of the same year. . Under the new draft, which comprises 195 articles instead of 122, “it’s the president of the republic who determines the policy of the nation, and it’s the government which enacts the policy. Parliament or the (National) Assembly will no longer be able to overturn the government, and conversely, the president will no longer be able to dissolve the National Assembly.

The draft of a new Malian constitution given to the head of the junta strengthens the powers of the future president, who will determine the politics of the nation.

This "preliminary draft" is supposed to be submitted to a referendum in March 2023. It is a key element of the vast project invoked by the military to maintain itself until 2024 at the head of this country caught in the turmoil.

The Parliament or the Assembly will no longer be able to overthrow the government and, in the opposite direction, the President of the Republic will no longer be able to dissolve the National Assembly.

The bill establishes a second parliamentary chamber, corresponding to the Senate, alongside the National Assembly. It creates a Court of Auditors.

Political actors have long agreed on the need forconstitutional reform.

The current constitution is seen as a factor in the political crisis in the country, which has seen three coups since 1991 and five since independence. 

The political instability is exacerbating the serious security crisis that has been underway since 2012 and the outbreak of independence and Salafist insurgencies in the north of the country.

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