News / Africa

Madagascar Votes for New Constitution Wednesday

Multimedia

Audio
  • Monja Roindefo, Madagascar's former prime minister spoke with Clottey

TEXT SIZE - +
Peter Clottey

Madagascar’s former prime minister said he will not vote in Wednesday’s referendum for a new constitution, saying it would worsen the ongoing political crisis.

Analysts said, if passed, the new measure will solidify embattled President Andry Rajoelina’s hold on power.

Former Prime Minister Monja Roindefo said there are strong indications most Malagasies will reject what he described as Mr. Rajoelina’s plan to arrogate “more powers unto himself”.

“I don’t recognize this referendum [since] this election was organized unilaterally by Andry Rajoelina. And even the constitution was not elaborated [upon] by everybody; it has no respect at all for the national conference and the regional [peace] conferences. So, it [referendum] will not bring anything at all to Madagascar,” said Roindefo.

“It will just delay the resolution of the Malagasy crisis. So, I don’t think it is a good idea to [undertake] this referendum and I won’t vote, and I don’t recognize it.”

The new constitution would lower the minimum age for a presidential candidate from 40 to 35, paving the way for Mr. Rajoelina, who is 36, to run for office.

The government is promoting the vote as a step toward stability following the 2009 coup that ousted President Marc Ravalomanana and led to Mr. Rajoelina's installation.

Former Prime Minister Roindefo said Madagascar has turned into a rogue state on the international stage due to what he said was President Rajoelina’s “poor” leadership.

“The international community, the American government and the SADC [Southern African Development Community] as well as the European Union did not recognize the authority and the organization of this referendum. So, we need to seek another solution.”

The proposed constitution would also require presidential candidates to live in the country for at least six months prior to elections, blocking Mr. Ravalomanana, who is exiled in South Africa.  The document does not set a limit on the duration of Mr. Rajoelina's transitional government.

Madagascar's three main opposition factions have called for a boycott of the vote. Critics say the referendum will not yield a lasting solution to the country's political crisis.

Madagascar has been in political turmoil since March 2009 when Mr. Rajoelina toppled President Ravalomanana with the support of the military. The African Union has refused to recognize Mr. Rajoelina as president of the Indian Ocean island nation, while Western countries have suspended non-essential aid.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid