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Madagascan opposition leader announced suspension of talk with president
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10:01, February 26, 2009

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Madagascan opposition leader Andry Rajoelina said here on Wednesday evening that he would suspend talks with president Marc Ravalomanana.

During a press conference called at his home around 19:30 p.m. (16:30 GMT) on Wednesday, Rajoelina said that he would not go to the fifth round of negotiations with President Ravalomanana, scheduled to be held on Thursday at a private in the east suburbs of the capital city.

He said that he still respects the agreement reached between the two sides at their first meeting on Saturday on the suspension of anti-government activities and the provocation by his media.

The opposition leader, however, accused President Ravalomanana of violating the agreement.

He said he would no longer take part in the negotiations with President Ravalomanana because he failed to show up at the meeting on Wednesday.

Rajoelina's announcement came after the Madagascan Christian Council of Churches said earlier in the day that it had given up its mediation efforts over the current political crisis between President Ravalomanana and his rival Rajoelina.

Council President Odon Razanakolona announced in the capital city at a press conference that the United Nations representative to Madagascar would continue the mediation efforts instead of the churches.

In a short statement, the council leader called on the armed forces to intervene to protect the people and their properties.

The current political crisis, the worst in years in Madagascar, began in December when President Ravalomanana ordered to close down the radio and television station owned by Rajoelina.

Since then, dozens of people have been killed and many others wounded in riots.


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