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Madagascan transitional leader orders PM to set up consensus government in 72 hours
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10:54, September 05, 2009

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Madagascan High Transitional Authority leader Andry Rajoelina has ordered his prime minister to set up a consensus government in 72 hours instead of giving up either his transitional presidency or the post of prime minister as it was agreed by main political forces early last month.

"I order the Prime Minister Monja Roindefo to form a consensus government within 72 hours," Rajoelina said in his national address Friday evening.

Rajoelina and his predecessors, Marc Ravalomanana, Didier Ratsiraka and Albert Zafy, signed on Aug. 9 a transitional charter in Maputo, Mozambique, in which they agreed to share power during the 15 month transition.

But they failed to reach an agreement on the three main transitional posts for the president, the vice president and the prime minister at the second round of talks, held in Maputo towards the end of last month, aimed at deciding the power-sharing arrangement for the transition.

Rajoelina and his political allies refused to hand over either the presidency or the prime minister to other political forces while the political camp led by Ravalomanana, Ratsiraka and Zafy insisted on equal share of the key transitional posts.

A day early, Zafy, after consulting with representatives of Ravalomanana and Ratsiraka, asked the armed forces to take over the transitional presidency and the prime minister due to the stubborn position taken by Rajoelina.

Rajoelina declared that it was his final decision, which was made after listening to opinions from his political allies and representatives from 22 regions over the island country.

Rajoelina promised to set up all transitional institutions, which he and his predecessors agreed in Maputo, Mozambique, early last month.

Rajoelina strongly rejected the proposal made by the other political camps to let the armed forces to take the posts of president, vice president and the prime minister in the transition.

The international mediators, who sponsored the two rounds of talks in Maputo aimed at ending the prolonged political crisis in Madagascar, urged the Madagascan stakeholders to make a final decision on power sharing before Sept. 4, failed of which all international financial assistance to the island country would be suspended.

Rajoelina was speaking hours after the rejection of the armed forces to take over the key transitional posts.

The position taken by Rajoelina and his allies was strongly lashed out by Ravalomanana and his supporters, who held anti-Rajoelina demonstration on Friday and called for a general strike next week.

Civil societies also threatened to take actions if no implemental actions were taken by the politicians for a smooth and peaceful transition, as it was agreed by the so-called big four in Maputo early last month.

Source: Xinhua

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