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Regime Leader Odd Man Out

Madagascar future in the balance again

Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN  Dec 27, 2009

The yet unrecognized regime leader in Antananarivo, Madagascar - Andry Nirina Rajoelina - was again the odd man out when he defied the previous consensus reached in lengthy negotiations with former presidents and the incumbent he exiled when taking power through an army revolt, when late last week, he sacked the Prime Minister and appointed a crony in his stead. Former Mozambique President Chissano had brokered the talks in Maputo, and Rajoelina was under strong pressure from the African Union – which still does not recognize him as head of state – and Madagascar’s development partners to sign on to the deal, which was to see elections take place next year with none of the two opposing figures supposed to stand for office.

The news will be bad news for the islands’ tourism sector, which after the political violence of last year combined with the global economic crisis, had gone into free fall but started to catch up again after the political settlement was announced. There is now wide fear that renewed calls for sanctions by the AU and stronger anti-travel advisories over potential fresh political violence may halt the trend and scuttle the gains made by the tourism industry in recent months.

Madagascar future in the balance again
Andry Nirina Rajoelina / Image via

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