Mali’s ruling junta announced Thursday the launch of a two-year transition “process” before elections are held, in defiance of West African bloc partners. The AFP news agency, in an article that can be read in full on the News Blog page of the Future Media website, reports that Choguel Maiga, the prime minister installed by Mali’s military, said Thursday: “We cannot go below 24 months unless we decide to postpone or not to carry out certain actions until the end.” However, ECOWAS still wants elections held in no more than 16 months, and Maiga said discussions continue with the regional grouping.