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Rajoelina’s choice of new PM nullified by State

Friday October 16 2009

By XINHUA

ANTANANARIVO, Friday

A decree, announced by Madagascar transitional President Andry Rajoelina last Saturday appointing Mr Eugene Mangalaza as a consensus prime minister, was cancelled by the Malagasy State Council on Thursday.

The State Council is the Supreme Court for appeals against decisions taken by a public authority, while Mr Mangalaza is a professor of philosophy from the political camp led by former president Didier Ratsiraka.

Cede post

Mr Rajoelina sacked his prime minister Monja Roindefo, appointed on February 7, and named Mr Mangalaza to the post just a few hours after Mr Roindefo announced he would not cede his post to anyone, and that he would run for the next presidential election.

Though Mr Roindefo said the following Sunday that he would not remain forever in the PM seat, he asked the State Council the next day to cancel the appointment of Mr Mangalaza because of a defect in form and procedure.

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In the request to the State Council, Mr Roindefo also wrote that “the designation of Mr Rajoelina as President of the Transition is still pending until (leaders of the country’s four) political camps sign the Maputo agreement.”

The main actors in the political crisis that has engulfed the country since last December are the former Antananarivo mayor and current president Andry Rajoelina; and former presidents Marc Ravalomanana, Didier Ratsiraka and Albert Zafy.

Mr Rajoelina has postponed indefinitely his trip to Geneva, Switzerland — scheduled for Thursday — because Mr Ravalomanana has refused to sign an agreement on the sharing of seats in government and other transitional institutions.

Elections

Mr Ravalomanana has refused to leave the presidency of Madagascar, even the transition, to Mr Rajoelina, who is expected to stay as the transitional president until October next year, when a consensual, inclusive and transparent presidential election is scheduled. This is supported by several agreements signed by the four rivals in Maputo, Mozambique last August.

Mr Rajoelina, 35, came to power on March 21 via the support of the armed forces and two months of demonstrations, toppling Mr Ravalomanana, who was yet to finish his second five-year presidential term.

Mr Ravalomanana, 60, ascended to the presidency of the island country in 2002 after a six-month stalemate with Mr Ratsiraka, but fled the country and has been exiled in both Swaziland and South Africa since last March 25.

Mr Ratsiraka, 73, has been living in exile in Paris, France, since 2002, and had been president for 21 years — from 1975 to 1991 and from 1996 to 2001. Mr Zafy, 82, led the country from 1993 to 1996.