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15 Aug 2009 09:14
Madagascar’s Andry Rajoelina, who rose to power in a March coup, on Friday claimed undisputed leadership of the multilateral transition process agreed to in Maputo earlier this month.
“It is unimaginable that anyone else should lead the transition. The transition as a process headed by Andry Rajoelina is a given and is not up for discussion,” he said in an interview on national television.
Leaders of the Indian Ocean island nation’s four main political groups, including Rajoelina and ousted president Marc Ravalomanana, wrapped up four days of crisis talks in the Mozambican capital on August 9.
They agreed to hold new elections by the end of next year and in the meantime set up an interim administration, but the distribution of roles in the transitional period was to be decided later after further discussions.
As recently as Tuesday, one of the top international mediators, Edem Kodjo, said the issue of who would head the transition and the attribution of key posts in the interim administration were still undetermined.
After months of spearheading the opposition, the 35-year-old former disc jockey was swept to power by the army on March 17, sending Ravalomanana into exile but failing to win the endorsement of the international community.
In his televised interview to three Madagascan journalists on Friday, Rajoelina emphasised his willingness to develop partnerships with his rivals but also made sure to assert himself as the island’s strongman.
“We need consensus figures and competent people.
We’re not here to carve up the cake but to develop the country,” he said, adding: “All the people who will work with Andry Rajoelina must be accepted by him.”—Sapa-AFP
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