Mali’s embattled President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita announced the dissolution of the constitutional court on Saturday in an attempt to calm major civil unrest in the vulnerable African country. The court has been at the center of controversy for months since it overturned provisional results for a parliamentary poll, triggering protests in several cities. These demonstrations have recently intensified into deadly unrest, with thousands rallying in the capital to demand Keita’s resignation over a long-running jihadist conflict, economic woes, and perceived government corruption. “I have decided to repeal the licenses of the remaining members of the constitutional court,” the president said in an evening television address.
“This de facto dissolution of the court will enable us, from next week, to ask relevant authorities to nominate new members so that the reformed court can quickly help us find solutions to the disputes arising from the legislative elections,” he added. Some of the nine members of the court have already resigned, and one is dead. Keita said the remaining members’ dismissal would help Mali begin to implement the recommendations of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which has called for the government to review the results and hold new partial elections.