Mali coup codified?

Following the military coup in Mali, an agreement has been reached (apparently) for the military leader to step down. However, the deal does not restore the constitutional president, whose term was due to end later this year. Instead, it would install the head of the national assembly as interim president.

The media seem generally to be treating this as a return to constitutional order (e.g. The Guardian, AP). And ECOWAS will lift sanctions. But it looks to me more like a codification of the coup. No, there will not be a long-term military government, and maybe the elections due for this spring will go ahead. However, the presidency was not validly vacated–even if the deposed president did submit his resignation as part of the agreement.

In the meantime, the north and east of the country has slipped out of the government’s control, so it is hard to see how those elections can go ahead in any case.

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