News24

Mali parly prolongs its own mandate

2012-06-29 18:14

Bamako - Members of Mali's National Assembly have voted to extend their own mandates to oversee a democratic transition under way after the March coup, a parliamentary leader said on Friday.

The bill to extend the mandate until the end of the transition in the west African country was passed on Thursday with all MPs bar one voting in favour, deputy speaker Assarid Ag Imbarcaouane told AFP.

The extension was included in an accord between the troops who carried out the coup and the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas), which is mediating the restoration of democratic institutions.

After a constitutional delay following the coup that ousted president Amadou Toumani Toure, the former head of the National Assembly, Dioncounda Traore, has been leading the transition which is scheduled to take a year.

Last month, Traore, 70, was assaulted and injured by demonstrators who backed the coup leaders and were hostile to his leadership. He has since been staying in France, where he underwent surgery, according to relatives.

The coup in Bamako opened the way for the vast desert north to fall into the hands of armed movements, notably Islamists, who have largely taken control of areas held by Tuareg rebels, including the main towns.

The coup also led to the cancellation of presidential and parliamentary elections.