Monday, November 23, 2009

Madagascar Postpones Government Formation

Madagascar postpones government formation


ANTANANARIVO. The appointment of the Madagascan national unity government was postponed indefinitely despite the schedule released on Saturday.

The four Madagascan political camps, respectively led by current president Andry Rajoelina, and former presidents Marc Ravalomanana, Didier Ratsiraka and Albert Zafy, could not reach agreement to appoint ministers of justice, basic education, mines and hydrocarbons.

The disagreement is notable between Rajoelina and Ravalomanana’s camps.

"We ask your blessing because we have to talk outside because of the absence of both country leaders, (including Ravalomanana and Ratsiraka)," co-president Fetison Rakoto Andrianirina from Ravalomanana’s camp told the people of Miarinarivo, a city about 130 km west of the capital city, during his provincial tour on Saturday.

Quoted by L’Express, a French-language daily published on Monday, Andrianirina said the meeting between the four protagonists should take place this week.

But in the daily paper, the African Union special envoy, Ablasse Ouedraogo, proposed a video conference between the big four, saying that the meeting outside the country is not necessary.

Ouedraogo stressed "the need to solve this problem between Madagascans themselves," saying a logistical and financial weaknesses of a meeting outside the country. Special envoys of the International Contact Group would arrive in the country this week to inspect the problem of forming a national unity government, Ouedraogo said. Rajoelina declared that "he will think about it" when he inaugurated on Saturday a road in Ambanja, 1000 km north-west of Antananarivo.

"If the government could not be established, let the current ministers continue their work because they are competent and do their duty," said the president of the transition.

However, a transitional co-president Emmanuel Rakotovahiny, who is from Zafy’s movement, described Rajoelina’s purpose as illegal and against the agreements signed between Rajoelina, Ravalomanana, Ratsiraka and Zafy in Maputo on August 6 and in Addis Ababa three months later.

The agreement in Addis Ababa stipulates that the transition, which should not last more than 15 months from August, is led by a president, Andry Rajoelina, and two co-presidents including Andrianirina and Rakotovahiny, while the government of national unity composed of 31 members is led by Prime Minister Eugene Mangalaza.

The International Contact Group on Madagascar is very concerned about the situation in Madagascar, fearing the protagonists may fight each other, blocking the formation of a new government, according to a statement published in the island country on Sunday.

Any delay of a new government affects the development of other important institutions of the transition, including the elections, national reconciliation and the resumption of co-operation with Madaga-scar’s international partners, said the statement signed by Rodney D. Ford, public affairs officer in the United States to Madagascar. — Xinhua.

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