AU calls for implementation of Madagascar unity govt

The African Union on Tuesday called on Madagascar’s political rivals to urgently implement a power-sharing deal reached last week aimed at ending the country’s protracted political crisis.

Madagascar’s current leader, Andry Rajoelina, the president he ousted, Marc Ravalomanana, and two former presidents signed a consensus deal to form a government, which mediators admitted was fragile.

The accord saw Rajoelina retain his post, introduced two co-presidents, a prime minister, three vice-prime ministers and 31 ministers to steer the Indian Ocean island to elections in 2010.

In a statement, the AU’s Peace and Security Council urged the rivals “to intensify their consultations to finalise, without delay, the consensual distribution of positions of responsibility.”

Rajoelina and Ravalomanana have already differed over how to interpret the agreement, a sign observers said points to the difficulty of implementing the November 6 deal reached in Addis Ababa.

Weeks of sometimes violent protests led by Rajoelina culminated with the president’s ouster in March, plunging the country into an institutional and political limbo.—Sapa-AFP

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