Madagascar asks for UN assistance so it can swiftly set up an electoral timetable

24 September 2011

A week after reaching a deal with rivals to end Madagascar’s protracted political crisis, the country’s leader has called on the United Nations to help it establish a credible electoral timetable as soon as possible so that polls can be held in the Indian Ocean island nation.

Andry Rajoelina, the President of the High Authority of the Transition of Madagascar, told the General Assembly’s annual general debate yesterday that “the Malagasy political family is now committed to going ahead and working together in the best interests of the nation for the welfare, peace and serenity of the people.”

Last Saturday political parties in Madagascar signed a road map in an agreement brokered by mediators from the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

The road map allows for the unconditional return from exile of the former president Marc Ravalomanana – deposed in a coup in early 2009, led by Mr. Rajoelina, after weeks of unrest – and for the establishment of transitional institutions ahead of elections, according to media reports. A previous power-sharing deal reached by Madagascar’s main political groups in late 2009 foundered before it could be implemented.

Mr. Rajoelina told the General Assembly that the process of transition under the new road map must be inclusive and consensual.

He called on the international community to contribute financially to ensure that the road map is fully implemented.

An upcoming electoral needs assessment by the UN should result in the “establishment of an electoral calendar that is credible, neutral, transparent and independent, based on respect for fundamental rights and international norms.”

Today, Mr. Rajoelina met Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and they discussed the next steps in the implementation of the road map.

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Madagascar: Ban calls for full implementation of political road map

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the accord in Madagascar that is aimed at settling the country’s prolonged political crisis and called for the deal’s implementation so that free and fair elections can be staged soon.