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Tourism badly affected by the political fires

Madagascar: No breakthrough intalks

Aug 29, 2009

he Malagasy leadership has failed to reach a settlement on the interim structure to take back the country to democracy when talks reportedly collapsed today in Maputo.

The talks, which were expected to point at the interim leadership to lead the country back on the path to elections and democratic normalcy are said to have reached a deadlock when the parties failed to agree on who should lead the country in the interim.

The deposed and exiled, former president Marc Ravalomanana has reportedly refused to recognise current president, Andry Rajoelina, who took over in March this year after the president was forced to resign.

The talks being led by former Mozambican president, Joachim Chissano, were also expected to pave the way for the installation of an interim government in Madagascar,or at least processes leading to such by next weekend.

According to reports, much of the disagreement is on the interim president, with both Mr Rajoelina and his predecessor said to be fighting for the last word on the issue.

Madagascar has been swimming in a political crisis since the beginning of the year, when opposition protests being led by Mr Rajoelina, the former mayor of the capital, Antananarivo, accused Mr Ravalomanana of ruling the country like his private business.

The takeover in March by Mr Rajoelina, which has been internationally labelled as a coup, was supported and backed by the army.

Also taking part in the talks are the former presidents Didier Ratsiraka and Albert Zafy, who are also recognised as major stakeholders in the Malagasy political field.

Madagascar, a large island on the Indian Ocean and a member of the Southern African regional bloc, SADC, was also hit by a series of devastating cyclones just before the political storms took centre stage.

The island is well known for its tourism, which has been badly affected by the political fires and is now of increasing interest to investors for its oil, bauxite, nickel, cobalt, gold and uranium.

Madagascar: No breakthrough intalks

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