Madagascan transitional authorities to proceed with elections

09:00, June 22, 2011      

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Madagascar's High Transitional Authority (HAT) has vowed to go on with the preparations for the forthcoming elections.

This decision was taken after HAT opposed the return of the Indian Ocean island country's ex-president Marc Ravalomanana, who has been in exile in South Africa since March 2009.

"No one can oppose the right of the sovereign Madagascan people to carry on with the elections," HAT President Andry Rajoelina said on Monday at a ceremony to officially hand over 10 4x4 vehicles to the army.

"We are not talking about the exact election date but we shall soon start preparing for those elections. We are going to prepare the electoral lists as well as electoral cards so that these elections can be free and fair," the HAT president said in a reply to journalists.

During last week's visit by members of the transitional government to the provinces, he said, the officials discovered some anormalies be corrected at the level of the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) preparing for the elections.

"My main goal now is to help CENI to organize free and fair elections that will get the country out of the crisis and not to seek for international recognition for my regime," Rajoelina said.

Last week, while announcing his refusal for the return of Ravalomanana to Madagascar, Rajoelina vowed to proceed with the elections.

"We shall support CENI to organize the elections. If the international community comes to our aid, we shall welcome it but if not, we shall still carry on," he said.

Madagascan Foreign Minister Yvette Sylla has also indicated that only elections can get Madagascar out of the crisis that began in December 2008.

However, cited by Midi Madagasikara newspaper, the country's ex- president Marc Ravalomanana indicated that HAT did not have money to hold the elections.

Ex-premier Emmanuel Rakotovahiny from the camp of former president Albert Zafy, who is also against HAT, told Xinhua that "it was premature to talk about elections because no country had neither recognized the referendum nor the constitution."

In addition, he indicated, it was risky to organize an election under the prevailing conditions.

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