Madagascar: Andry Rajoelina to run for President?

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Andry Rajoelina Wednesday stated that he would not run for president in the next presidential elections. Unless of course, if the former head of state, Marc Ravalomanana, runs. The ousted president of Madagascar, meanwhile, has reiterated that he is still the legally elected president of the country. Such is the political imbroglio threating the pending elections.

The confusion surrounding Andry Rajoelina’s candidacy is ever so present. The President of the High Transition Authority in Madagascar (HAT) Wednesday announced that he would not be running as a candidate in the next presidential elections if all the former heads of state abstained from taking part. “I want to show the world that Andry Rajoelina does not get stuck to a seat, that (he) is not power hungry and does not seek honours,” he said during a press conference.

France and the UN exerting pressure

Earlier the same day, the Quai d’Orsay (Paris) had urged the President of the HAT to go public with his decision not participate in the Presidential elections “for a speedy realisation of a highly inclusive political consensus”. As a result, mediators from the United Nations are seeking the consensus of political parties headed by former presidents: AREMA — Didier Ratsiraka, CRN — Albert Zafy and TIM — Marc Ravalomanana. But according to Andry Rajoelina, “for the time being, there is no unanimous agreement among the various parties on the proposal”. Confirming the possibility of Andry Rajoelina’s candidacy, sobiks, a Malgasy information site, indicated that should the proposal be rejected by any of the three former Heads of State, the HAT will certainly submit its candidacy “to validate its current mandate” with Monja Roindefo, the current prime minister, as its future leader.

The return of Marc Ravalomanana

Meanwhile, Marc Ravalomanana in an interview with Radio France Internationle (RFI) Wednesday said he might return to his country “in a few weeks”. He also reiterated that he was “the only democratically elected president in Madagascar.” In order “to allow the peaceful return of the ousted President” as well as a sound electoral process in Madagascar, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Monday appointed a special envoy to the country. Considering the positions taken by Marc Ravalomanana and Andry Rajoelina, a political agreement seems compromised, while the organization of presidential elections scheduled to take place by the end of 2009 remains, for the time being, only a question mark.

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