BAMAKO, March 24 (Xinhua) -- Malian political parties on Saturday broke silence and condemned the coup d'etate two days after a group of mutineers claimed the takeover of state power.
The big parties against the coup include the ruling ADEMA-PASJ, URD, MPR, UDD, PDES, UFDP, PSP, PDJ, PDP and MDD, according to a common communique obtained by Xinhua.
The coup by force constituted a grave retrogress "for our democracy," the communique said, demanding "a return to a normal constitutional life."
The parties expressed hope for the restoration of peace in the north and the organization of free and transparent election, describing them as the two priorities for the moment.
They also demand the immediate stop of looting and exactions and the immediate release of all political and military personnel detained by the junta.
A National Committee for Redressment of Democracy and Restoration of the State (CNRDR) on Thursday declared takeover from President Amadou Toumani Toure, citing his failure to provide means for the military to curb Tuareg rebels in the north.
The coup came one month ahead of the scheduled April 29 presidential elections and the expiry of President Toure's second term of office. Many Malians consider the takeover as unnecessary.
Meanwhile, Capt. Amadou Sanogo, the head of the CNRDR, told state television that he is not afraid of an imminent counter-coup being rumored around in the capital Bamako.
The CNRDR on Friday said it would meet with civil society groups to discuss a solution to the crisis, but later postponed the talks.
The junta is facing mounting international pressure for a return to the constitutional rule, with the United Nations and the European Union strongly condemning the coup and the African Union (AU) suspending Mali's membership.
The 15-member West African bloc ECOWAS says it will hold an emergency summit on Tuesday in Cote d'Ivoire's economic capital Abidjan on the crisis in Mali.
ECOWAS is emerging as a crisis-busting body in the region after helping end the rule of junta in Guinea and Niger and stabilize the situation in coup-prone Guinea-Bissau.
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