Mali's ruling junta announced that it would hold a referendum on a new constitution on June 18th.
The referendum was initially scheduled for March 19th but was postponed indefinitely.
The decision was relayed by government spokesman Aboulaye Maïga on national television on Friday :
"The electoral college is convened on Sunday, June 18, 2023 throughout the national territory and in the diplomatic and consular missions of the Republic of Mali to vote on the draft Constitution attached to this decree."
The establishment of a new constitution is an important albeit delayed step towards a return to civilian rule in a country faced with a deep multi-faceted crisis all while battling jihadism.
The junta justified the postponement of the referendum by the amount of time needed to set up representatives of the election management body and by the desire to popularize the constitutional text, legitimizing their governance until next the presidential election.
This Constitution is a key element of the vast reform project invoked by the military to justify their governance until 2024.