Mali’s Top Court Declares Coup Leader Assimi Goita As Interim President

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Mali’s constitutional court on Friday declared Assimi Goita, the colonel who led a military coup this week while serving as vice president, to be the new interim president.

The court said in its ruling that Goita should fill the vacancy left by Ndaw’s resignation “to lead the transition process to its conclusion” and carry the title of “president of the transition, head of state”

Assimi Goita

Goita, a 38-year-old special forces commander, was one of several colonels who led the coup against Keita. He ousted Ndaw after the interim president named a new cabinet that stripped two of the other coup leaders of their ministerial posts.

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Late on Friday, Goita said on national television that he would name a new prime minister from among the members of the M5-RFP coalition, which led protests against Keita last year and fell out with Ndaw and Ouane during the transition.

Assimi Goita

The ruling raises the stakes as West African leaders prepare to meet on Sunday to respond to the takeover, which has jeopardized a transition back to democracy and could undermine a regional fight against Islamist militants.Goita became interim vice president after leading the coup last August that overthrew President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. He ordered the arrests on Monday of President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane.

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