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SADC to Meet Over Madagascar Political Crisis


Ministers of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) will hold an emergency meeting Friday to discuss the ongoing political crisis in Madagascar. The conference comes a day ahead of the heads of state summit Saturday in Johannesburg, South Africa to help restore constitutional order.

SADC suspended Madagascar after rejecting former opposition leader Andry Rajoelina's ascension to power in March as a coup d'état.

"The meeting is essentially to avert what looks like a potential crisis," said Professor Okey Onyejekwe, Director of Governance at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

He said the regional body will try to prevent a potential chaos in Madagascar now that other diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis have not succeeded.

"Attempts that were made to now bring the two ex-presidents and the current president to resolve the terms of engagement for the next elections have failed," he said.

Onyejekwe sees two hurdles facing current President Andry Rajoelina.

“Other presidents have refused to accept him (Rajoelina) and legitimize him, (and) Madagascar has been suspended from the AU (African Union)…the current president himself needs to change the constitution given the fact that he has an age threshold which he doesn’t meet,” he said.

Meanwhile, former President Marc Ravalomanana remains exiled in South Africa where SADC is expected to meet this weekend.

Onyejekwe says while the deposed president enjoys “the solid support of SADC as well as most members of the AU,” he has little influence inside Madagascar.

All the same, Ravalomanana maintains he is still the legitimate leader of Madagascar.


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