There has been universal condemnation of the mutiny that became a coup in Mali – as there should be.
From the United Nations Security Council down to the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States neighbouring Mali there are demands for a return to constitutionality.
The putschists insistence that they have no interest in political power and that they will move the country to democratic elections “within a reasonable time” does not cut it.
ECOWAS states have closed their land and air borders to the landlocked state.
Presidents Muhammadu Issoufou of Niger, Macky All of Senegal, Nana Akufo Addo of Ghana and Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire are headed for Mali to impress on the group of colonels who have arrested President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and his Prime Minister Boubou Cisse that they will be shunned until constitutionality is restored.
The African Union has suspended Mali’s membership in accordance with its policy of red-carding any unconstitutional change of government.
Defence of this principle is paramount at this political moment in time. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko faces opposition demands to quit after a rigged election and the nominal leader of the free world, President Donald Trump will not commit to acknowledging defeat if he loses the November election in the United States.
With democracy under attack we are reminded that is an imperfect system. As Winston Churchill told us with stark humour it is better than all the rest. If we embrace it, recognizing the will of people is its very bedrock.
If that has been tampered with there is machinery, albeit frustratingly cumbersome and slow, to deal with it.
But moving in therapy is never the answer.