Mali to form new ‘broad-based’ transitional government | Mali News

Prime Minister Moctar Ouane resigned but was immediately returned to carry out a cabinet reshuffle.

Mali’s interim government is set to form a new “broad-based” cabinet amid mounting criticism from military-dominated authorities in Sahel state.

Prime Minister Moctar Ouane resigned Friday but was immediately reappointed to carry out the reshuffle, said transitional president Bah Ndaw.

“The prime minister has just started consultations,” said an adviser to Ndaw who declined to be appointed. “He must form a broad-based government.”

Ouane was appointed prime minister after military officers ousted President-elect Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in August, who was under pressure for his handling of armed unrest in Mali.

Under threat of international sanctions, the military ceded power to an interim government, which pledged to reform the constitution and hold elections within 18 months.

But figures with ties to the military dominate this body, and there is growing anger over their leading role and the slow pace of reform.

The M5 opposition movement last week called for the dissolution of the transitional government and demanded “a more law-abiding and legitimate body”.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) mediator for Mali, former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, also warned last week that there was little time left to complete the reforms.

Last month, Mali’s interim government announced it would hold a constitutional referendum on October 31, with elections to follow in February next year.

But conflicts and political disputes in the landlocked country of 19 million people have left some doubts as to whether authorities will stick to the timetable.

Mali is struggling to quell a brutal conflict that first erupted in northern Mali in 2012, before spreading to the center of the country as well as neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger.

The country is also plagued by conflicts with civil society. According to local press, the country’s largest union, the UNTM, is threatening, among other things, a four-day strike from next week.

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