One of the key figures behind the August coup in Mali has been chosen for a top post despite concern over the military’s continued influence in the country.
Colonel Malick Diaw was unanimously elected to lead the interim legislative body, the National Transition Council.
This is supposed to play a crucial role in the transition to civilian rule within 18 months.
One of the country’s main opposition groups is boycotting the body.
The opposition group, known as the June 5 Movement, organised massive street protests against the man who was ousted from power, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta.
But it says it will not serve as a “stooge for a disguised military regime”, reports the AFP news agency.
The BBC’s Noel Ebrin Brou says Col Diaw was one of the brains behind the 18 August coup and became deputy leader of the junta.
He was the only candidate in the running to head the 121-member body.
He also played a key role in negotiations with the West African region body, Ecowas, which imposed sanctions on Mali after the military takeover. The sanctions were finally lifted in October.
Junta leader Col Assimi Goita is the interim vice-president, while former Defence Minister Bah Ndaw leads the country.
Mali is facing huge economic problems, while also battling an intense Islamist insurgency. Thousands of French, African and UN troops have been sent to the country to tackle the militants.
The coup sparked international condemnation, but it was welcomed by many Malians.