THE Southern African Development Community (SADC) has welcomed the publication of the final list of Madagascar's Presidential candidates released by the Special Electoral Court, saying restoration of constitutional order was now possible.
In a statement issued, SADC secretariat insisted that the decision of the Special Electoral Court constitutes an important step towards the creation of the necessary conditions for the organization, of free, fair, transparent and credible elections in Madagascar with the support of the international community.
"SADC fully supports the decision as it restored legality in the list of presidential candidates, by complying with the relevant laws of Madagascar as well as SADC and AU decisions.
"SADC recognizes the sense of responsibility, patriotism and critical role played by the President of the Transition, Andry Rajoelina, in the efforts to re-launch the electoral process as well as for the full cooperation extended to SADC and the AU in their efforts," reads the statement in part.
The body has requested the Independent National Electoral Commission of the Transition (CENI-T), in close collaboration with the United Nations (UN), to immediately decide on new dates for the holding of elections in Madagascar this year.
The SADC, which has a new Executive Secretary, Tanzania's Stergomena Tax, also encourages Madagascar's international partners to resume the provision of financial, technical, material and logistical assistance for the organization of free, fair, credible and peaceful elections in Madagascar.
The statement said SADC is determined to apply, together with the African, International Contact Group on Madagascar (ICG-M) and the wider international community, robust targeted sanctions to all those who seek to undermine the smooth running of the electoral process.
It urged the people of Madagascar, in particular the Malagasy political stakeholders to play a positive role and maintain peace, stability, tolerance, appeasement and national reconciliation as the country moves towards elections to end the crisis and restore constitutional order in Madagascar.