Mali negotiators back charter that could see soldier as interim president

Mali’s ruling junta pushed through a political charter on Saturday that could lead to the appointment of a military officer as interim president over objections from the coalition that led anti-government protests before last month’s coup, Reuters reports.

The charter ratified by participants in the talks 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 in remarks at the end of three days of negotiations.

The M5-RFP coalition that led protests against President Ibrahim Boubcar Keita before the Aug. 18 coup has forcefully opposed the idea that a military officer could lead the transition.

So have Mali’s West African neighbours, who have also insisted on a transition of no more than one year.

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