Following opposition protests in April against new electoral laws, which critics claim were intended to prevent some opposition candidates including former Presidents Ravalomanana and Rajoelina from running in late 2018 presidential elections, High Court 3 May declared laws unconstitutional. Opposition 4 May reiterated call for President Rajaonarimampianina to resign. Rajaonarimampianina 12 May approved new law lifting provision that would have prevented Ravalomanana and Rajoelina from standing. High Constitutional Court 25 May ordered Rajaonarimampianina to dissolve govt and by 2 June appoint new PM with backing of all parties and thereafter appoint govt that reflects parties in parliament.
Madagascar’s recent elections marked an ostensible return to democracy, but unless the new government works hard to implement meaningful political, economic and social reforms, the prospect of further crisis is just a matter of time.
While the reality and extent of the coup announced yesterday by military officers is still uncertain, the latest events demonstrate the fragility of the situation in Madagascar and the urgent need for a new international strategy to end the long crisis. Negotiations should now focus on international support to the electoral process based on strict conditions.
Madagascar has been in crisis since the bloody upheavals in early 2009. Several rounds of mediation under the auspices of the African Union (AU) and others have not unlocked the stalemate.
Originally published in City Press