Madagascar’s government has quit internationally mediated talks to end its political crisis, rejecting a political amnesty deal that would allow ousted leader Marc Ravalomanana to return to the island. President Andry Rajoelina said there was no scope to negotiate the homecoming of the exiled Ravalomanana, who he overthrew with support from dissident soldiers in March after weeks of civil unrest.
Although sources close to the talks have said it would be possible to continue dialogue with three out of four political movements, it was not immediately clear how any deal would stick without the government’s signature. Political turmoil has gripped the Indian Ocean island since the beginning of the year, shattering its $390 million-a-year tourism sector, alarming foreign investors and stunting growth.
“The people will not accept an amnesty which makes way for a discussion over the return of Ravalomanana,” Rajoelina told supporters on Saturday while touring isolated provinces. His comments were broadcast on state radio on Sunday. The African Union’s (AU) mediator, Ablasse Ouedraogo, told Reuters he was not aware of the government’s withdrawal.
Regional leaders and foreign powers, who generally branded Rajoelina’s power-grab a coup, have urged the formation of a consensus government to lead Madagascar into presidential elections as soon as possible.
SOURCED FROM REUTERS