The head of Mali’s military junta, Colonel Assimi Goita, pushed through a political charter on Saturday that could lead to the appointment of a soldier as interim president despite objections from the coalition that led anti-government protests before last month’s coup.
Approval for the roadmap, meant to chart the country’s course after the Aug. 18 coup that toppled President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, came after three days of negotiations between the junta, political leaders and civil society groups.
International powers, fearful that political instability will undermine a fight against Islamist militants across West Africa’s Sahel region, have pushed for a swift transition back to civilian rule.
The charter says the interim president can be a civilian or a soldier and will preside over a transitional period of 18 months before elections are held, said Moussa Camara, the spokesman for the talks.
The interim president will be selected by electors chosen by the junta, Camara said.
A previous draft of the charter had said the transition would last two years and the interim president would be directly chosen by the junta, the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP).
“What awaits us now is the hard work, the implementation of these resolutions,” said CNSP president Colonel Assimi Goita.