31 March 2012

Mali Suspended From International MPs' Body

Mali has been suspended from the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) a body that brings together world parliamentarians. The west African country has been suspended following the coup d'état that toppled President Amadou Toumani Touré on 22 March.

IPU executives took the decision during a meeting on Friday at Serena Hotel in Uganda's capital, Kampala.

IPU Secretary General Anders Johnsson, who announced the suspension, said that, without a functioning parliament, Mali could not be effectively represented at the 126th IPU assembly that will be officially opened by Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on Saturday.

But Anders hastened to say that the suspension of Mali from the grouping does not mean that IPU is no longer concerned with the situation in that country. He said that, once democracy is restored, Mali would be readmitted back in the IPU.

The African Union was the first inter-governmental organisation to suspend Mali - a day after the coup. The suspension will remain until constitutional order is restored.

For the next seven days members of the IPU assembly will discuss the political, economic and social situation in the world under the overall theme of "Parliaments and people: bridging the gap".

More than 2,000 delegates from more than 120 countries are in Kampala to attend the 126 Inter Parliamentary Union Assembly starting Saturday the 31 March.

The situation in Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad is clamping down on dissent, will also be discussed in the weeklong meeting.

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