7 January 2010

Madagascar: Diplomats to Propose Compromise to End Political Crisis

Photo: L'Express
Andry Rajoelina, left, with African Union mediator Joaquim Chissano and deposed president Marc Ravolamanana at talks last year

The international community will try to resolve Madagascar’s political crisis by proposing to the country’s parties a compromise solution to their deadlock over the formation of a transitional government.

In a communiqué issued by the African Union after a meeting in Addis Ababa on Wednesday, an international contact group on Madagascar promised to “elaborate and present to the Malagasy parties” the compromise by January 25.

The group will give the parties two weeks to react to its proposals and reconvene in Addis Ababa once they have responded.

The crisis was precipitated when Andry Rajoelina, the former mayor of Madagascar’s capital, Antananarivo, seized power last March. Talks aimed at returning the country to constitutional rule have been in stalemate since Rajoelina  boycotted a meeting in Maputo at which leaders of the main parties finalized an interim administration to run the country until new elections.

Rajoelina initially joined three former presidents of Madagascar in signing agreements last August  and  November which laid the basis of a transition back to democracy. But he then backed out of the process and fired an interim prime minister appointed under the deal.

Wednesday’s African Union communiqué said the international contact group – which includes the United Nations, the International Organization of La Francophonie, the Southern African Development Community and the European Union – wanted a transition to democracy which was as short as possible and established by consensus between the parties.

The proposal for a compromise solution was made initially by Jean Ping, who chairs the African Union Commission. The compromise will deal with all transitional institutions, including the government, and the organisation of elections, the communiqué said.

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