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Video: Thousands protest in Mali over constitutional reform

Habibou Koyate, AFP | Protesters hold banners reading "No to the referendum" as they demonstrate against a referendum on a constitution's revision draft on June 17, 2017, in Bamako.

Thousands of people took to the streets on Saturday in Mali’s capital Bamako to protest against a constitutional reform that would allow the president to appoint a third of future senators.


The Malian government's attempt to change the constitution has sparked a massive public outcry. The draft constitutional reform is designed to improve the representation of the country’s northern region within institutions, but critics say that it will only strengthen the president’s powers.

“[The president] will appoint the president of the Constitutional Court, the president of the Supreme Court, he will also appoint a third of the Senate. Where is the constitutional balance? Where is the sovereignty of the people? We don’t want this, it’s an institutional dictatorship not democracy, we do not want this for our country,” Oumar Traoré, a protester, told FRANCE 24.

The government plans to hold a referendum about this controversial constitutional reform on July 9.

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