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Madagascan armed forces reject proposal to take over power
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20:31, September 04, 2009

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Madagascan armed forces rejected on Friday a proposal by former presidents to take over key transitional posts.

In a statement issued here, the armed forces and the national gendarmerie said that the armed forces, which had and would devote themselves to the national sovereignty, totally rejected the motion to establish a military regime in the island country.

Following consultations with representative of former presidents Marc Ravalomanana and Didier Ratsiraka on Thursday, Albert Zafy, who was also president of the country from 1993 to 1996, told the media that they decided to ask the armed forces to take the key transitional posts of president, vice president and prime minister.

Talks between the three former presidents and current president of the High Transitional Authority Andry Rajoelina, reached a deadlock on the three key posts, which should be shared by the political camps led by Rajoelina, Ravalomanana and Ratsiraka, according to a transitional charter signed early last month in Maputo, Mozambique.

Under pressure within his political allies, Rajoelina, who overthrew Ravalomanana last March, refused to give up either the transitional presidency or the prime minister to other political forces.

Zafy suggested on Thursday that a military takeover might be away to break the deadlock in the establishment of a transition.

In the statement read by Secretary of State for the national gendarmerie, General Claude Ravelomanana, the armed forces said that they would also reject any appointment that was not authorized by the ruling military authorities.

Declaring that the armed forces are united, the statement said that they denounced any act aimed at destabilizing the solidarity within the army and the national gendarmerie.

In accordance with resolutions approved at the national military conference last May, the armed forces should not involve in partisan politics and would maintain a neutral position.

The statement was issued at the last day of the deadline set by international mediators for the Madagascan politicians to make a final decision on power-sharing arrangement concerning the transitional president, the vice president and the prime minister.

Following the breakup of the last round of political talks between Rajoelina, Ravalomanana, Ratsiraka and Zafy in Maputo on Friday last week, Ablasse Ouedraogo, special envoy of African Union, urged the Madagascan stakeholders to reach an agreement on the three key transitional posts before September 4. If failed, all international financial assistance to the country would be suspended.

However, the so-call big four failed to make any consensus decision till now, with Rajoelina declaring on Wednesday that he would rather face possible international sanctions than giving up his transitional presidency.

He also lashed out at Madagascar's donors, saying that poor countries like Madagascar had inherited debt from traditional donors.

No statement has been issued by Rajoelina's political camp, though he said he would announce his final decision on the request of the international mediators later on Friday.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Embassy issued a statement here on Friday, calling the Madagascan political leaders to make a peaceful and consensual resolution to get out of the crisis and honor their commitments to the agreements they signed in Maputo early last month.

Source: Xinhua

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