Mali: Scramble brewing in ruling party over Toure’s successor
Six months away from presidential elections in Mali, a leadership crisis is brewing within the ruling Party for Economic Development and Solidarity (PDES) over who will replace President Amadou Toumani Touré, now serving his second and final term.
Already, three party stalwarts are spotlighted to battle over the position of standard bearer of the ruling party.
The first vice chairman of the PDES, Jeamille Bittar, who has declared his candidacy for the presidential elections slated for April 2012, has been summoned, along with ten of his close aides, to appear before the disciplinary committee of the party.
This is apparently in connection Bittar’s setting up on 22 October of the Union of the Movements and Associations for Mali (UMAM), an association to support for his candidacy.
According to sources close to the party, Hamed Sow, a former Minister and international civil servant, who was one of the authors of President Toure’s 2007 campaign platform, is also preparing his bid for the country’s top job.
There is also Ahmed Diane Séméga, a cabinet minister and chairman of the ruling party, whose supporters are urging him to join the presidential race.
President Touré has already asked government officials desiring to contest the presidency to resign from the government to pursue their ambition.
The Malian government has scheduled the presidential elections for April 29, 2012. The same day Malians will vote in a constitutional referendum.