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Former Madagascan presidents decide to give power to armed forces
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19:15, September 04, 2009

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In an effort to break the deadlock in the establishment of a transition, former Madagascan presidents proposed on Thursday to give key transitional posts to the armed forces.

The proposal was made at a meeting between former president Albert Zafy and representatives of Marc Ravalomanana and Didier Ratsiraka here in the absence of any representative from the ruling High Transitional Authority, led by Antananarivo ex-mayor Andry Rajoelina.

"Due to the deadlock on the president, vice-president and a consensual prime minister of the transition, we propose to assign these three positions to neutral military," Zafy told the media at the end of the three-party meeting.

They would report as soon as possible their proposal to the international mediators from the United Nations, the African Union, the Southern African Development Community and the International organization of French-speaking Countries.

The decision was made one day before the deadline set last week by the international mediators for the Madagascan stakeholders to make a final power-sharing arrangement for a peaceful transition before the coming Friday, beyond of which all international financial aid to the island country would be suspended.

There has been no sign of any breakthrough concerning the presidency, the vice president and the prime minister in consultations among the political camps led each by the current and former presidents ever since they turned back home from Maputo, Mozambique, last Friday.

Rajoelina, the current self-made transitional president, openly admitted that he could not make any decision before consulting with his political allies.

Following his consultation with central and regional leaders, he appointed since he came to power last March, Rajoelina said on Wednesday that he would not give up any of the key transitional powers to other political forces.

He declared that he was ready to face possible international sanctions against the poor Indian Ocean island country due to his uncompromised position on the power-sharing arrangement, proposed by the international mediators.

Rajoelina, who replaced Ravalomanana March as president of the country following more than two months of anti-Ravalomanana mass demonstrations, refused to attend a meeting with leaders of other political forces, called by Zafy last Tuesday.

Zafy, who had supported Rajoelina to overthrow Ravalomanana's regime, was angered by the attitude taken by Rajoelina, saying that he would reconsidered his position towards Rajoelina and his transitional authority.

Rajoelina, 35, said that he would announce his final decision on Friday and report it to the internal mediators led by former Mozambique president Joachim Chissano, who was appointed by the Southern African Development Community to mediate in the political crisis that began in the country last December.

Rajoelina called all politicians, businessmen and intellectuals to help him led the transition while Ravalomanana's supporters called for strengthening of anti-Rajoelina forces.

The armed forces have not issued any statement on the proposal announced by Zafy.

Source: Xinhua

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