The constitutional court's announcement comes after President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane resigned before their release from military detention on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: Commander Baba Cisse, representative of Mali vice president Colonel Assimi Goita gives a statement in Bamako, Mali on May 26 2021.
FILE PHOTO: Commander Baba Cisse, representative of Mali vice president Colonel Assimi Goita gives a statement in Bamako, Mali on May 26 2021. (Reuters Archive)

Mali's constitutional court has named Colonel Assimi Goita, leader of the post-coup junta, as the country's transitional president.

The judgment stipulated that Goita would "exercise the functions of transitional president to lead the transition process to its conclusion", following his seizure of power this week.

The constitutional court said it had made the decision due to the "vacancy in the presidency" following the resignation of caretaker president Bah Ndaw.

Soldiers detained Ndaw and prime minister Moctar Ouane on Monday, before releasing them Thursday after they resigned.

READ MORE: Mali military releases now-ousted president, PM

Returning to civilian rule?

Ndaw and Ouane had led a transitional government tasked with steering the return to civilian rule after a coup last August that toppled Mali's elected president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Keita was forced out by young army officers, led by Goita, following mass protests over perceived corruption and his failure to quell a bloody militant insurgency.

Goita had originally been named vice president with other key posts given to fellow army officers.

Earlier Friday, Goita explained that the army had had little choice but to intervene.

"We had to choose between disorder and cohesion within the defence and security forces and we chose cohesion," he said.

READ MORE: UN Security Council condemns arrests of Mali leadership, calls for release

Source: TRTWorld and agencies