Madagascan parties propose new election calendar

08:01, August 12, 2010      

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Madagascar's Highest Transitional Authority (HAT) and more than 80 allied parties unveiled a new election calendar with the presidential elections postponed to June 1, 2011 from Nov. 26, 2010, local media reported on Wednesday.

The new calendar was proposed on Tuesday at the third meeting of HAT and the 82 parties from the two political alliances -- the Space of Concertation of Political Parites and the Union of Democrats and Republicans for Change (UDR-C).

Under the new plan, the Indian Ocean island state will hold the legislative elections on April 13, 2011 and the presidential vote on June 1, 2011.

Previously, HAT President Andry Rajoelina had announced that the polls would take place respectively on Sept. 30 and on Nov. 26 to end the political crisis dragging on since late 2008.

On Monday, the parties also decided to put off the constitutional referendum from Aug. 12 to Nov. 17.

Benjamina Ramarcel-Ramanantsoa, an organizer of the meeting, said the new dates would be most convenient to the majority and that the calendar would be submitted to their national conference for final approval.

"Even the Independent National Electoral Council would still have words to say about the subject, but for us politicians, the essential is to find an accord on these dates," he added.

The rival camps led by former presidents Didier Ratsiraka, Zafy Albert and Marc Ravalomanana did not attend the meeting and have yet to respond to the proposed new calendar.

Rajoelina took over state power from Ravalomanana with the backing of the military in March 2009, after months of anti- government protests. The change has since been considered a coup.

The four camps reached the Maputo and Addis Ababa agreements last year to end the crisis. But they have never carried out the deal amid differences over power sharing in the transitional period.

The African Union imposed sanctions on more than 100 HAT officials early this year to press for the return to democracy and the constitutional order.

The four camps made a new try later in South Africa, but no progress has been reported to break the stalemate despite continued efforts to bring them together.

Source: Xinhua


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