Madagascar's HAT president wants elections held this year

15:43, April 18, 2011      

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President of Madagascar's Highest Transitional Authority (HAT) Andry Rajoelina has expressed his desire to see the country hold all elections this year.

Rajoelina was speaking on Sunday evening during a televised debate on the country's national television.

"I have the same opinion as the international community in matters regarding the preparation of free and fair elections. Fortunately, we have begun the preparatory processes and the budget for the elections has already been fixed. The elections should be completed this year," Rajoelina confirmed.

The HAT president revealed that the fixed budget for the elections which will be under the control of the country's National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) is 10 million U.S. dollars.

The use of one ballot paper will be applied this time round again and it's the CENI that will be charged with the responsibility of producing the ballot papers, he said.

Rajoelina revealed further that an oversight commission will be set to monitor the CENI's spending of the elections funds.

On Friday, Rajoelina met with the CENI officials who briefed him on the progress so far achieved in the process of preparing the electoral lists.

CENI president Hery Rakotomanana who spoke during Friday's meeting insisted that the precise date for elections could only be set by the political actors.

Elsewhere, the HAT president indicated during the televised debate that no decision had been made yet regarding his candidature and that this was not the appropriate time to make such a decision.

Madagascar has been experiencing a political crisis since December 2008 due to the disagreement between Rajoelina and the country's ex-president Marc Ravalomanana.

In order to find a solution to this crisis, the international community organized several dialogue sessions in which the protagonists signed certain pacts which were unfortunately not honored after the HAT president disregarded them.

Source: Xinhua
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