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Africa

UN wants speedy elections in Madagascar

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Latest update : 2009-04-08

The UN Security Council has urged speedy elections in Madagascar after the 'unconstitutional' leadership change in the island country in March.

AFP - The Security Council on Tuesday voiced concern over the "unconstitutional" leadership change in volatile Madagascar and urged speedy elections, according to a senior UN official.
  
Haile Menkerios, UN assistant secretary general for African affairs, said council members expressed "serious concern about the unconstitutional means of taking power" by Andry Rajoelina, the former Antananarivo mayor who ousted president Marc Ravalomanana last month with the army's backing.
  
The 15-member body also urged that "there be a quick return to a constitutional order through a transitional process that is based on consensus reached through wide participation of all stakeholders throughout Madagascar," Menkerios told reporters.
  
"It's up to the parties to decide. I don't think anybody is dictating anything to them ... but a return to constitutional order can only come by organizing quick elections where the people of Madagascar will decide," he added.
  
"The quick organization of elections is what everybody is asking, including many stake-holders in Madagascar itself. This we will support," Menkerios said. "How quickly will depend on how much time it will require to organize elections that are free and fair."
  
On Friday, a reconciliation conference organized by the Indian Ocean island's new army-backed regime recommended that fresh presidential polls be held in October 2010.
  
Rajoelina had pledged upon being sworn in that fresh presidential elections would be organized within 24 months.
  
Menkerios spoke to reporters after briefing the Security Council in a closed-door session on the latest developments in Madagascar, where he was sent as emissary by UN chief Ban Ki-moon during last month's political upheaval.
  
He made clear that it was not up to the world body to decide whether or not to recognize the new regime.
  
Ban "was very clear that the process was neither constitutional nor democratic. It is up to member States and regional organizations who have that authority to recognize or not," Menkerios said.

Date created : 2009-04-08

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