Mali Elections Could Be Postponed Prime Minister Says

Elections scheduled for early next year in Mali could be postponed by months
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Elections scheduled for early next year in Mali could be postponed by months, the prime minister told AFP on Sunday, adding that he was looking for alternative security partners to France as it prepares to reduce its troop presence in the conflict-torn country.

"The main thing for us is less to hold them on February 27 than to hold elections that will not be contested," Choguel Kokalla Maiga said in an interview in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

He suggested the presidential and legislative elections could be postponed by "two weeks, two months, a few months," adding that a decision will be taken in October following a meeting of a national forum.

"At the end we will issue a more detailed agenda," Maiga said. "It is better to organize peaceful elections, recognized by all, rather than to organize elections that will be disputed," the prime minister added.

The elections, promised for February 2022 by strongman Colonel Assimi Goita, are aimed at restoring civilian rule following a coup in August last year against elected president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

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