Malian Court Names Coup Leader Transitional President

A day after he declared himself interim president, Assimi Goïta, who led the recent coup in Mali, has been declared the country’s transitional president by the constitutional court.

The court said Friday’s decision was due to the “vacancy in the presidency,” BBC reported.

The court’s ruling added that Mr. Goïta should take on the responsibilities of the interim president “to lead the transition process to its conclusion,” the BBC added.

The Goïta-led junta seized power on Monday after it arrested interim President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane, one that drew international backlash.

The two leaders were released Thursday after international negotiators flew to the capital Bamako to broker a deal, but the military had ensured the detainees had been made to resign in detention.

Mr. Goïta said that both men had failed in their duties and were seeking to sabotage the country’s transition.

This week’s coup followed a cabinet reshuffle that had two army officers replaced; with Mr. Goïta saying he ought to have been consulted before their replacement.

“We had to choose between disorder and cohesion within the defense and security forces, and we chose cohesion,” Mr. Goïta defended his actions on Friday, in his first public comments since seizing power.

He added that a new prime minister would be appointed within days and that the elections slated for next year would still go ahead as planned, AFP news agency reported.

This is the second coup the colonel will be leading in nine months after toppling elected President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta in August.

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