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Madagascan former president threatens to set up opposite government
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21:20, September 10, 2009

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Former Madagascan president Albert Zafy has threatened to set up an opposite government against the one announced Monday by the ruling transitional authority if talks are not resumed for a peaceful solution to the current political crisis.

At a press conference held here late on Wednesday afternoon, Zafy's spokesman Regis Manoro said that the former president would send a letter to the High Transitional President Andry Rajoelina, urging him to resume talks with his political rivals.

Following the breakup of talks to find a peaceful solution to the 8-month political crisis in the Indian Ocean island country, Rajoelina and his Prime Minister Monja Roindefo Zafitsimivalo unilaterally announced a government and other transitional institutions on Tuesday.

It was a betrayal to the signature Rajoelina had put on the documents as well as an insult to other politicians and the international mediators, Manoro said at the press conference.

In the government announced by Rajoelina and Roindefo, there were close allies from the political camps led by two former presidents, Marc Ravalomanana and Didier Ratsiraka, but Zafy's representatives were not included.

In the press conference held at Zafy's residence here, Manoro said that Zafy was preparing for a fight against Rajoelina if he rejects his call for resumption of talks.

The spokesman said that Zafy's camp would unite its forces with those of Ratsiraka and Ravalomanana to set up another transition government and other institutions if Rajoelina refuses to talk.

Ravalomanana, who has been living in exile ever since Rajoelina took the power away from him in March this year, also condemned the announcement by Rajoelina as unilateral and unacceptable, describing those who participated in the government as betrayers.

Rajoelina's political allies explained that except Ravalomanana, who was ousted through a popular mass demonstration, Ratsiraka and Zafy had already been rejected by the people through national elections in 2001, in which Zafy received about 5 percents of the votes.

Sponsored by the international mediators led by special envoy of the Southern African Development Community Joachim Chissano, the Madagascan stakeholders held two rounds of talks in Maputo last month to search for a peaceful solution to the political crisis that began in December last year.

However, they failed to strike a deal on the distribution of the key transitional posts of the president, the vice president and the prime minister.

Source: Xinhua

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