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Malagasy leader Andry Rajoelina Walks Away From Deal

Published on Tuesday 22nd December 2009 Malagasy leader Andry Rajoelina Walks Away From Deal

Malagasy leader Andry Rajoelina, who seized power in March, has repudiated internationally-brokered mechanisms agreed with his opponents as a way of restoring constitutional rule in the country.

After refusing to attend talks with his opponents over ministerial appointments in Mozambique earlier this month, on Friday Rajoelina fired Eugene Mangalaza, the prime minister chosen by consensus among political leaders to head an interim administration pending new elections next year.

After first appointing interior minister Cecile Manohoranta as acting prime minister, two days later - on Sunday - Rajoelina replaced her with a military officer, Colonel Albert Camille Vital, reports the Mauritian newspaper, L'Express.

The firing of the consensus prime minister was rejected by Rajoelina's opponents and negotiating partners, who said they would go ahead and form the interim government agreed to in talks held in Maputo and Addis Ababa in recent months.

Reporting for L'Express de Madagascar, Iloniaina Alain writes that Rajoelina's objective in appointing a military officer was to neutralize the efforts of Rajoelina's opponents to form a parallel government without him.

Rajoelina now plans unilaterally-arranged elections for March - which almost inevitably will not be recognized by either the Southern African Development Community or the African Union.

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