The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, has welcomed the appointment on 7 September of Rivo Rakotovao, President of the Madagascar Senate, as acting president of the country.
On Friday evening, the President of Madagascar, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, resigned in a message to the nation, broadcast on radio and television.
Mr. Rakotovao will serve as head of state in the interim until the election of the new president.
“The Secretary-General reiterates the commitment of the United Nations to continue to support the electoral process, leading to a peaceful, credible and inclusive poll”, his spokesperson said in a press statement released on Saturday.
The Secretary-General, wrote the spokesperson, commends the ongoing close coordination between the United Nations, through his Special Adviser Abdoulaye Bathily, and international partners including the African Union and the Southern African Development Community in supporting the Malagasy-led dialogue and reconciliation. Madagascar had been facing a political crisis for several months.
Mr. Bathily visited the island last May to facilitate a dialogue between the country's main political actors, including President Rajaonarimampianina and former heads of state Marc Ravalomanana and Andry Rajoelina. "The mission supported the facilitation of a Malagasy process to foster dialogue among key political stakeholders to create a peaceful environment for elections, in accordance with the Constitution," Bathily said on 22 May in an interview with “Politically Speaking”, the online magazine of the UN’s Department of Political Affairs (DPA), after his trip to Madagascar.
On June 11, 2018, a new national unity government was formed in Madagascar with Christian Ntsay as prime minister, in accordance with the May 25 decision of the Constitutional Court, the highest legal authority in the country. This new government is responsible for organizing the November 7 presidential election.