Sunday, January 24, 2010

African Union Commision Chair Urges Madagascar Leader to Accept Unity Government

AU chief urges Madagascar leader to accept unity govt


ANTANANARIVO--The head of the African Union last Friday urged Madagascar’s leader, Andry Rajoelina, to accept a unity government to resolve a dragging political crisis, a day after he snubbed the offer.

“We have made proposals for (the accords) Maputo I and Addis Ababa to go into effect,” Jean Ping said during a short visit to the Indian Ocean island.

Rajoelina, who seized power in March 2009 with military backing, last Thursday rejected AU proposals to implement an August power-sharing deal with his rivals.

The proposals, fine-tuned in the Mozambican and Ethiopian capitals, Maputo and Addis Ababa, also provide for the establishment of a presidential council and the posts of two co-presidents, both of whom will come from Rajoelina's rival camps.

Rajoelina, a former disc jockey and mayor of the capital Antananarivo, described the proposals as impossible.

“In view of the evolving situation any power-sharing has become impossible because it has already become a source for a new crisis and the cause for serious troubles in our country recently,” a statement from the presidency said.

“The experience of power-sharing, for the brief period when we tried it, has amply proven that this proposal cannot be a solution to the political crisis . . .”

Disagreements between the island nation’s four main political groups have scuttled repeated efforts to end the impasse there, with de facto leader Rajoelina trampling on previous deals to form a unity government.

Rajoelina last month fired a consensus prime minister and named a new one to replace him.

Discord over sharing government posts and drawing up an election timetable by the four political parties have also hindered efforts to end the crisis. —

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