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Mali: Mali Government Profile


Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta

Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta

Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (born January 29, 1945), or as he is often known, IBK, is a Malian politician who has been President of Mali since 2013. Previously he was Prime Minister of Mali from 1994 to 2000 and President of the National Assembly of Mali from 2002 to 2007.[3] He founded a political party, Rally for Mali (RPM), in 2001. He was elected as President in the July–August 2013 presidential election and sworn in on 4 September 2013.

Keïta was born in Koutiala, Mali. He studied at the Lycée Janson-de-Sailly in Paris and Lycée Askia-Mohamed in Bamako, continuing his education at the University of Dakar, the University of Paris I and the Institut d'Histoire des Relations Internationales Contemporaines (IHRIC; Institute of the Modern History of International Relations). He has a Master's degree in History and an additional graduate degree in Political Science and International Relations.

After his studies, he was a researcher at the CNRS and taught courses on Third World politics at the University of Paris I. Returning to Mali, he became a technical consultant for the European Development Fund, putting together the first small-scale development program for the European Union's aid activities in Mali. He went on to become Mali director for the French chapter of Terre des hommes, an international NGO aiding children in the developing world.

Next independence, Mali was governed by the 1960 constitution, which provided for a national assembly. This body was abolished by the Keita regime in January 1968. Following the military coup of November 1968, the constitution itself was abolished and a provisional regime, the Military Committee for National Liberation, was established.

A long-awaited constitution was drawn up by the Military Committee in 1974 and endorsed in a public referendum on 2 June 1974. In this initial national ballot since 1964, 99% of the electorate voted for acceptance. The constitution, which took full result in 1979 and was amended in 1981, provided for a president with a six-year term, an 82-member national assembly, and a one-party system. The assembly was elected for a three-year term. There was universal suffrage at age 21. The 1979 constitution was restored by a new constitution adopted by referendum in January 1992.

In 1997, the national assembly had 116 deputies with 10 parties represented. Instantly, the total number of seats is 147 with members popularly elected serving five-year terms. Led by ATT, the Hope 2002 coalition holds 66 seats to 51 for ADEMA, and 30 held by other parties with the next rounds of elections scheduled for 2007.

The president, elected by popular vote, chooses the prime minister who selects a cabinet. Attempting to remain above party politics, ATT insisted that all of the major parties having won seats in the parliament in the July 2002 elections have cabinet members in the government.

Mali - Political parties

The initial political party in Mali, the Sudan Progressive Party (Parti Soudanais Progressiste—PSP) was an affiliate of the French Socialist Party. It dominated political activity in French Sudan for 10 years. It was followed by the Sudanese Union, a revolutionary, anticolonial party, which had its major strength in the towns. In the two elections of autumn 1946, the Sudanese Union won 32% and 38% of the total votes.

The PSP continued to maintain its majority in the Territorial Assembly until the end of 1955, at the same time as a split in its ranks enabled the Union to capture a majority. By March 1957, the Sudanese Union won 60 of the 70 seats in the new Territorial Assembly, and in the Legislative Assembly election of March 1959 it obtained 76.3% of the votes and all the seats. Next the break with Senegal, it emerged as the only party in the Republic of Mali, one with control that extended even to the smallest Muslim villages through its national political bureau. In the parliamentary elections of April 1964, the single inventory of 80 deputies presented by the Sudanese Union was elected by 99.5% of the voters. The party was disbanded at the time of the 1968 coup d'état.

The Democratic Union of Malian People (Union Démocratique de Peuple Malien—UDPM) was created as the sole legal political party in 1979. It chose the presidential candidate and the single inventory of candidates for the National Assembly. In National Assembly elections in 1979, UDPM candidates received 99.89% of the votes cast; in 1982, 99.82%; and in 1985, 99.47%; The party's general secretary since 1979 has been Gen. Moussa Traoré.

In a little while next the military coup in March 1991, some 48 parties were functioning, of which 23 contested the 1992 elections and ten elected deputies to the National Assembly. The Alliance for Democracy in Mali (ADEMA) was the majority party, but with the change in prime minister and government on 12 April 1993, opposition parties were brought into cabinet; the National Committee for a Democratic Initiative (CNID) gained three cabinet posts.

In 1997, ADEMA held 76 seats in parliament, CNID held nine. Other parties represented in the National Assembly included the Sudanese Union/African Democratic Rally (US/RAD) with eight seats; the Popular Movement for the Development of the Republic of West Africa with six seats; Rally for Democracy and Evolution (RDP) and the Union for Democracy and Improvment(UDD) with four seats each; and four other parties with the remaining seats. The UDPM, the former ruling party, attempted to relaunch itself in mid-1993, but the Supreme Court rejected its application for official recognition. It applied again in 1995 and was again rejected. Splits in ADEMA and CNID in 1995 resulted in the formation of the Movement for Independence, Renaissance, and African Integration (MIRIA)— headed by former vice president Traoré, the Patriotic Movement for Renovation (MPR), and the party for National Renovation (PARENA). In anticipation of the 1997 elections, PARENA announced it would form an alliance with ADEMA. However, flaws in the electoral process led to cancellation of the results by the Constitutional Court. The repeat elections, though ruled free and equitable by international observers, were boycotted by 18 opposition parties.

In 2000, ADEMA had not lost its grip on the National Assembly, holding 130 of 147 seats, with 12 additional held by allied parties, and only 5 by the opposition. Despite the tradition of male domination in Mali, 18 seats were held by women, and women held six held cabinet posts in the government.

Elections to the Assembly were last held 14 July and 28 July 2002 giving ATT's government a substantial show of popular support with the following breakdown of seats: Hope 2002 coalition 66, ADEMA 51, other parties 30. Despite ATT's attempt to ensure balance in the cabinet, the two major coalitions Espoir 2002 (Hope 2002) and Alliance pour la République et la démocratie (ARD) criticized the new cabinet as being unrepresentative. L'Espoir 2002 objected to having received only two positions additional than the ARD, even though they had backed the president in the second round of the elections. Nevertheless, Espoir did take most of the non-ministerial parliamentary positions.

One 1 June 2003, in the presence of over 5,000 people gathered from around the country and abroad, Soumaila Cisse, vice president of ADEMA, who lost against ATT in the presidential election, announced the creation of a new party, Rally for Republic and Democracy (URD). The URD was expected to welcome an outflow of ADEMA supporters, perhaps as a lot of as 25 deputies. ADEMA was working hard to stem the flow and estimated that no additional than 10 of its deputies would defect to the UDR.

Mali - Local government

In recent years, Mali has undertaken an ambitious decentralization program, which involves the capital district of Bamako, seven regions subdivided into 46 cercles , and 682 rural community districts ( communes ). The national retains an advisory role in administrative and fiscal matters, and it provides technical support, coordination, and legal recourse to these levels. Opportunities for direct political participation, and increased local responsibility for development have been improved.

In August-September 1998, elections were held for urban council members, who subsequently elected their mayors. In May/June 1999, citizens of the communes elected their communal council members for the initial time. Female voter turnout was about 70% of the total, and observers considered the process open and transparent. With mayors, councils, and boards in place at the local level, newly elected officials, civil society organizations, decentralized technical services, private sector interests, other communes, and donor groups began partnering to further development.

From presently on, the cercles will be reinstituted (formerly grouping arrondissements) with a legal and financial basis of their own. Their councils will be chosen by and from members of the communal councils. The regions, at the highest decentralized level, will have a similar legal and financial autonomy, and will comprise a number of cercles within their geographical boundaries. Mali needs to build capacity at these levels, particularly to mobilize and manage financial resources.

Mali - Judicial system


Mali's legal system derives from French civil law and customary law, and provides for judicial review of legislative acts in a Constitutional Court (which was formally established on 9 March 1994). Mali has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.

A Supreme Court was established in Bamako in 1969. It is made up of 19 members, nominated for five years. The judicial section has three civil chambers and one criminal chamber. The Supreme Court has both judicial and administrative powers. The administrative section deals with appeals and fundamental rulings.

The Court of Appeal is as well in Bamako. There are two magistrate courts of initial instance, courts for labor disputes, and a appropriate court of national security. Customary courts have been abolished. The 1992 constitution established a separate constitutional court and a High Court of Justice charged with responsibility for trying senior government officials accused of treason.

The 1992 constitution guarantees independence of the judiciary, and constitutional provisions for freedom of speech, press, assembly, association, and religion are generally respected. Nonetheless, the executive has considerable influence over the judiciary. The president heads the Superior Judicial, the body that supervises judicial activity, and the Ministry of Justice appoints judges and oversees law enforcement. Trials are public, defendants have the right to an attorney of their choice, and court-appointed attorneys are available to indigent defendants in criminal cases. However, the judicial system has a large case backlog resulting in long periods of pretrial detention.


Government type: 


Administrative divisions: 

8 regions (regions, singular - region); Gao, Kayes, Kidal, Koulikoro, Mopti, Segou, Sikasso, Tombouctou


22 September 1960 (from France)

National holiday: 

Independence Day, 22 September (1960)


adopted 12 January 1992

Legal system: 

based on French civil law system and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in Constitutional Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction


18 years of age; universal

Legislative branch: 

unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (147 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) elections: last held on 1 and 22 July 2007 (next to be held in July 2012) election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ADP coalition 113 (ADEMA 51, URD 34, MPR 8, CNID 7, UDD 3, and other 10), FDR coalition 15 (RPM 11, PARENA 4), SADI 4, independent 15

Judicial branch: 

Supreme Court or Cour Supreme

Political parties and leaders : 

African Solidarity for Democracy and Independence or SADI [Oumar MARIKO, secretary general]; Alliance for Democracy or ADEMA [Diounconda TRAORE]; Alliance for Democracy and Progress or ADP (a coalition of political parties including ADEMA and URD formed in December 2006 to support the presidential candidacy of Amadou TOURE); Alliance for Democratic Change (political group comprised mainly of Tuareg from Mali's northern region); Convergence 2007 [Soumeylou Boubeye MAIGA]; Front for Democracy and the Republic or FDR (a coalition of political parties including RPM and PARENA formed to oppose the presidential candidacy of Amadou TOURE); National Congress for Democratic Initiative or CNID [Mountaga TALL]; Party for Democracy and Progress or PDP [Mady KONATE]; Party for National Renewal or PARENA [Tiebile DRAME]; Patriotic Movement for Renewal or MPR [Choguel MAIGA]; Rally for Democracy and Labor or RDT [Amadou Ali NIANGADOU]; Rally for Mali or RPM [Ibrahim Boubacar KEITA]; Sudanese Union/African Democratic Rally or US/RDA [Mamadou Basir GOLOGO]; Union for Democracy and Development or UDD [Moussa Balla COULIBALY]; Union for Republic and Democracy or URD [Soumaila CISSE]

Political pressure groups and leaders: 

other: the army; Islamic authorities; rebels in the northern region; state-run cotton company CMDT; tuaregs

International organization participation: 


Flag description: 

three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), yellow, and red note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia