Malian coup d'état 2020 : will democracy return in Mali ?

Recent Malian coup d'état provides evidence for the effect of reverse democracy of Ibrahim Boubacar. The background to the military coup is that the mass protests have given rise to the question of whether such coups are acceptable and what to do after the ruling party has become dictatorial by undermining democracy.

The coup demands the attention of the world. While military coups have been on the decline for decades, military coups in Mali are an exception, although not surprising. That is one aspect of our consideration. There is another significance to the events in Mali at this time of the backwardness of democracy around the world.

In Mali, rebel forces detained President Keïta and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse on Tuesday and forced them to resign. The country's parliament has been dissolved. The coup began at a military base in the town of Kanti, 9 miles from the capital. The country was in turmoil after the president rigged the country's parliamentary elections last March and elected members of his party.

The opposition leader was abducted three days before the March election, several election officials were kidnapped and polling stations were attacked. Even in the second round of elections in April, according to experts, fair voting did not take place in some areas.
Malian coup d'état 2020 : will democracy return in Mali ?

Later, the country's Constitutional Court ruled in favour of 30 seats, leaving 10 candidates for the presidency. The movement has been going on in Mali since June 5. On July 12, President Keïta dissolved the Constitutional Court on the pretext of dealing with political instability.

In addition to election fraud, the government has been accused of corruption and failure to take action against various extremist groups.

Mali has long been under attack by various Islamist militant groups. President Amadou Toumani Touré was ousted in 2012 after a mutiny at a military base in the city of Kati. At that time, Islamist militants established their authority in the northern part of the country.

The number of people killed in militant attacks has risen since 2016, reaching 4,000 by 2019. Outgoing President Keïta was elected in 2013 and re-elected in 2016.

Mali's military coup has been condemned by the African Union, the European Union, the ECOWAS and the UN Secretary-General. Although welcomed by the opposition, the international community does not view this unconstitutional move as positive.

At one time, however, military coups and military rule became very common around the world, especially in Africa and Latin America. The coup or military coup has declined in the last few decades. According to the Center for Systemic Peace, there were 225 successful coups from 1947 to 2017 in countries with more than 500,000 citizens. In terms of decades, there were 14 coups in the 1940s, 21 in the 1950s, 61 in the 1960s, 56 in the 1970s, 36 in the 1980s and 21 in the 1990s.

 In the first decade of this century, there were 10 military coups, 6 from 2010 to 2017.
One Earth Future is an organization that conducts research and forecasts on the risk of military coups in different countries. According to their ‘coup-cast’ calculations, 2018 is the only year after World War II when there was no coup anywhere.

The leaders of Mali's military coup told a news conference on Wednesday that they did not want to stay in power. They want to restore stability in the country and are interested in handing over power by choosing between a 'reasonable time'. These words of theirs are remarkable.

 Because in the past, even in the nineties, the military did not say when it would step down after taking power, which researchers describe as an 'open-ended coup'.

In many countries, the military has seized power with the promise of democracy. One of the three processes that Nancy Bermio describes in an article as democratic backsliding is the seizure of power by the military.

He called it the "Promise Cue" (Nancy Bermio, "On Democratic Backsliding", Journal of Democracy, Volume 26, Number 1, January 2016, page 5-19)
Malian coup d'état 2020 : will democracy return in Mali ?

The number of coups for such promises has increased since the 1990s. Such coups were 35 percent before 1990 and 85 percent after 1990. Such military coups could bring democracy back to the country, Nancy Bermio totally denied that.

Analyzing the 12 promissory coups from 1990 to 2012, he showed that in most cases, they ended up in the election, but in these elections, only the people associated with the coups or their choices came to power.

The 2012 military coup in Mali was described by Bermio as such a coup. Although known as a leader of the anti-coup coalition, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta was blessed by the army before the coup and later came to power as their choice.

Further research has been carried out on the countries where Nancy Bermio has identified such "promiscuous coups" or "coup d'etat" and later by 2016, where "civilian rule" has been established. Observations show that Bermio's fears have been substantiated. Democracy has not been established in most of these countries. The analysis shows that hybrid regimes have been established in them.

A hybrid regime is a system that has some seemingly democratic elements, such as regular elections, parliament, the judiciary, the freedom of the media, and the right to form political parties — they are, in fact, authoritarian regimes.

It is clear that hybrid regimes, whether established through military coups or otherwise, are now being transformed into authoritarian regimes.

The reversal of democracy globally, the rise of authoritarian regimes in established democracies, the development of populism, the global propaganda of alternative non-democratic ideologies to counter the ideology of democracy, the economic crisis are fueling this trend.

This new authoritarian regime is different from the old dictatorships, but the oppression in them is in no way less. As a result, there is no reason to hope that Mali's military coup will turn the country towards democracy.

The resentment and desire for democracy that has been building up in Mali over the years due to the autocratic rule of Keïta and his party have been reflected in the movement that has been spreading since June. Against this background, this military coup has been possible.

That is why the protesters are supporting this coup. This is how the acceptability of the coup is created. There is no way to deny it. But the people of Mali must realize that the struggle to the aspirations of democracy has only just begun.

If they do not understand that, they will go back again in 2012. The question is, what should the democratic people do in such a situation? For that, we can look at Algeria and Sudan.

An interim government has been formed in Sudan after the overthrow of the dictator Omar al-Bashir through a coalition of civilians and the military. Although the military is less interested in political reform, it is under pressure and the movement continues on the streets.

In the face of the Algerian uprising, Abdelaziz Bouteflika was forced to step down, but the military is still in power. But the movement still continues. It remains to be seen which path the people of Mali will choose or take. But this incident raises some issues for the oppressed people in the throes of authoritarian rule, which need to be noted.

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