Mali’s transitional president Bah N’Daw and vice president Colonel Assimi Goita were sworn in on Friday following a military mutiny in August.
“To serve Mali is a privilege, an honour for each of us”, N’Daw said in his swearing-in speech in the presence of the mediator of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Goodluck Jonathan, and the only Head of State attending the ceremony, the President of Guinea-Bissau Umaro Sissoco Embalo.
The new Malian president thanked the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) for its “patriotic spirit, its sense of listening and discernment”.
He also expressed his gratitude to the commission of 17 members for the choice of electing him as transitional president of Mali.
President N’Daw welcomed the involvement of ECOWAS in the resolution of Mali’s socio-political crisis since June and the return to constitutional order since the mutiny on Aug. 18.
He also outlined a six-point agenda, that he hopes to accomplish.
Among them are correcting the flaws in electoral process to organise cleaner elections, equipping the army to fight terrorism and fighting impunity and corruption.
“The management of our resources, of our meagre resources, is indeed an obligation,” he said. Bah N’Daw did not promise “zero corruption”, but he said he will do everything to ensure that “zero impunity is the norm”
The president and the vice president were sworn in on the basis of the Transition Charter adopted during the national consultations held from Sept. 10 to 12 in Bamako.
The architecture of this 18-month transition must be completed by a transitional government, with a maximum of 25 members, headed by a prime minister appointed by the transitional president.
A National Transitional Council, composed of 121 members, is also to be set up as Mali’s legislative body.
After taking the oath, the Attorney General of the Supreme Court asked the president and his vice president to release all civilian and military figures arrested since Aug. 18 or to bring them to justice.
With today’s investiture, according to many observers, Mali has truly begun its march towards the return to constitutional order.
But for them, the task of the transitional president will not be easy, because the challenges are immense.
The ECOWAS mediator Goodluck Jonathan has been in Bamako for three days to follow up on the recommendations of the ECOWAS mini-summit on Mali held in Accra, Ghana.
According to the final press release of this mini-summit, all the sanctions imposed against Mali would be lifted upon the effective appointment of the president and the transitional prime minister.
Between May 2014 and January 2015, N’Daw was Minister of Defense and Veterans Affairs under the presidency of former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita who resigned following the mutiny of August 18 this year