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Associations calling for the Military Council to withdraw secularism from the draft constitution in Mali


On Saturday, about 20 associations in Mali announced the unification of their efforts to urge the ruling military council to withdraw the principle of secularism from the draft of the new constitution, which will be put to a referendum in June.

And these religious, cultural and political associations asked the head of the junta, Colonel Asimi Guita, to launch consultations with a view to withdrawing this principle, in a statement that France Press received a copy of.

“The ideological constraint inherited from France”

And she warned that if this is not achieved, a campaign will be launched to vote to reject the project in the June 18 referendum.

The associations considered that the committee charged with putting the final touches on the draft constitution could have liberated Mali from the “ideological constraint inherited from France,” but it lacked “courage.”

And she continued, “Despite its dire consequences for our country, since independence until today, secularism has been preserved and it is considered that it does not contradict beliefs.”

This referendum is the first step approved by voting on a schedule of consultations and reforms issued by the officers that would lead to elections in February 2024 with the aim of returning civilians to power.

It is an essential element in the reform project that the army adhered to in order to justify remaining in power until next year. The project greatly enhances the president’s authority.

Despite pressure from the clergy in the Muslim-majority country, the draft constitution, which was delayed for three months, kept an article confirming “the attachment to the republican formula and the secularity of the state.”

According to the text, “Secularism does not contradict religion and beliefs. Our goal is to promote and strengthen coexistence based on tolerance, dialogue and mutual understanding.”

The Association of Imams and Scholars, which enjoys wide influence, had previously called for a vote against the draft constitution.

The associations that signed Saturday’s statement affirmed their support for the League “against secularism” and the need for the constitution to be in line with “our religious and social values.”

By postponing the referendum, the military who came to power by force in August 2020 raised doubts about their full commitment to the timetable. But the military council, which has been ruling countries facing jihadist attacks and since 2012 mired in a multifaceted crisis, played down the importance of the delay.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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