(Bloomberg) -- Mali’s leaders have proposed to push back democratic elections by three years and allow military leader Assimi Goita to stay in power and be eligible to run for president in the eventual vote.

Heads of the country’s civil society, religious bodies, educational institutions and government agencies at the end of a three-month national consultation, recommended for the junta to extend the transition to five years from an earlier duration of two years. This will push elections that fell due this year to 2027.

The junta initially proposed an 18-month transition that was extended by two years when it missed a deadline to hold elections.

The dialog also proposed to open talks with armed groups and integrate militias into the army.

Following the 2020 putsch that ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, a retired soldier Bah Ndaw was named interim president and Goita vice president. Goita staged another coup in 2021 to become the transitional leader since then.

“I urge the transitional bodies to implement the recommendations of the national dialog,” he said on Friday at the closing ceremony of the national talks in Bamako, the capital.

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