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Talks between political rivals end without agreement

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-28

Talks between Madagascar's ousted president Marc Ravalomanana (far right) and coup leader Andry Rajoelina (left) ended without a resolution to the country's political crisis, but the two sides have promised to form an interim government by Sept. 4.

AFP - Madagascar's power-brokers ended talks in Mozambique Friday without reaching agreement on the make-up of a transitional government to lead the country out of its political crisis, mediators said.
   
"The international joint mediation team regrets to inform ... (that) the heads of the movements have found it impossible to come to a consensus on the key posts of the transition," said a statement issued by the mediators.
   
Madagascar's rival leaders have agreed to name an interim government by September 4, mediators said.
   
Several institutions of the transitional government have already been decided, they added.
   
Marc Ravalomanana, the president who was ousted in March, and current leader Andry Rajoelina will each get to decide the leader of one of the houses of the transitional parliament.
   
The two rivals will also pick one vice-prime minister each.
   
Other institutions of the interim authority will be decided by former president Albert Zafy and members of civil society, mediators said.
   
Madagascar's rival leaders, together with former presidents Zafy and Didier Ratsiraka, agreed August 9 in a previous round of talks to name a transitional government that will return the Indian Ocean island to constitutional rule and organize democratic elections by the end of 2010.
   
This week's talks were extended an extra day to give the four factions time to settle their differences on the top posts in the transition.
   
But negotiations stumbled over the issue of who would be interim president.
   
Under the August 9 agreement, the president will be the only member of the transitional government eligible to run for election in 2010.
   
Rajoelina has said only he can lead the transition.
   
But Ravalomanana, who has pledged not to seek a direct role in the interim government, rejected giving the presidency to Rajoelina and said the post should go to a member of his movement.
   
"It's not normal to legitimize an author of a coup d'etat as the president of the transition," Ravalomanana said.
   
The August 9 agreement gives the leaders 30 days to name the new government.
   
Mediators said the factions agreed to settle their differences by September 4 in order to present the new government at the next summit of the Southern African Development Community, which starts September 6.
 

Date created : 2009-08-28

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