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Mali activists, army feud over composition of interim parliament

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In Mali, a new political storm is forming as political parties and activists are locked in a standoff with the military over the composition of the so-called National Transitional Council.

The National Transitional Council is meant to serve as the west African country’s interim parliament.

According to a government decree published on November 10, the military was allocated the lion’s share of the council’s seats, taking 22 out of 121.

The June 5 movement credited for the protests that led to the fall of Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was given 8 seats while 11 went to political parties.

Civil society groups have accused the military of seeking to dominate the law-making organ and of a plot ‘to bury Malian democracy’.

Following a military takeover of Keita’s government in August, the army named Bah Ndaw as interim president and coup leader Colonel Assimi Goita as vice president.

The transitional government’s mandate is meant to last for 18 months with a return to democratic civilian rule.

The disagreements threaten to derail plans for elections, national reconciliation and the fight against militants in the north of the country.