ECOWAS demands 31 Malian lawmakers’ resignation, unity govt

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

THE President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and other leaders of West African countries on Monday called for the resignation of all the 31 members of Mali’s parliament whose elections were being contested.

They said the lawmakers’ resignation was one of the steps aimed at resolving the crisis in Mali.

On the part of the executive arm of government, the ECOWAS  leaders asked that a national unity government be established without further delay.

These were parts of  resolutions reached at a virtual meeting of the Economic Community of West African States’ Heads of State and Government on Mali’s  crisis.

Nigeria’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, read the outcome of the meeting to State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, from where Buhari joined his colleagues for the meeting.

The communique was signed by the President of Niger Republic, Mahamadou Issoufou, who is also the ECOWAS Chairman.

The communique read in part, “On the parliament, the heads of state and government ask all political parties to endeavour to obtain the immediate resignation of all the 31 members of parliament, whose elections are contested.

“These resignations will pave the way for by-elections. Pending these by-elections, the parliament will operate with the 116 remaining members.

“On the Constitutional Court, the Heads of State and Government ask all the relevant institutions to facilitate its immediate re-composition according to legal provisions in Mali.

“The parliament will propose its representatives after the resignation of the 31 members, whose election is contested and the installation of the new bureau.”

According to the communique, the main task of the National Unity Government will be to deal with the consequences of the demonstrations, and to implement all reforms and recommendations issued from the inclusive national dialogue and to improve governance.

In reiterating their solidarity with Soumaila Cisse, leader of the opposition abducted since March 25, 2020, the ECOWAS leaders insisted that the Malian authorities should intensify efforts for his release.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, later issued a statement titled ‘ECOWAS adopts declaration on Mali, as President Buhari urges Malians to accept government of national unity.’

Adesina said in forming the government of national unity, it was resolved that the government should comprise 50% nominees by government of the day, headed by President Ibrahim Keita, 30% by the opposition, and 20% by civil society groups.   ,,