The General Assembly ruled today that a delegation from Madagascar, where violent political unrest earlier this year led to the ousting of the president, cannot address the high-level segment of the Assembly’s 64th session.
Assembly President Ali Treki announced that the delegation – headed by Andry Rajoelina, who has proclaimed himself President of the High Authority of Transition of Madagascar – had been denied permission to speak after a majority of Member States present in the chamber voted against Dr. Treki’s earlier ruling to grant that right.
Earlier, a representative of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), speaking on behalf of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), told the Assembly that many delegations would walk out if Mr. Rajoelina was allowed to speak at the annual General Debate.
Dr. Treki said in response that he had consulted with legal officials in the UN Secretariat who had advised that Mr. Rajoelina be allowed to speak pending a ruling by the UN Credentials Commission, but he was willing to put that decision to a vote.
Madagascar has been engulfed by political turmoil since the start of the year, when violent protests led to the ousting of then president Marc Ravolamanana. Mr. Rajoelina, who had been mayor of the capital, Antananarivo, subsequently proclaimed himself President of a transitional government.
Last month, following talks mediated by the former Mozambican president Joaquim Chissano and a joint team including the UN, Madagascar’s political forces signed the Maputo Political Agreement that commits all sides to form a national unity government.
However, the parties have not been able to agree yet on the composition of that government, including the identity of the president, vice-president and prime minister.