Crisis in Madagascar: constitutional court orders the appointment of a new premier

Crisis in Madagascar: constitutional court orders the appointment of a new premier

The move intends lifting a political crisis sparked by controversial election reforms

Madagascar has been rocked by violent protest since April 21, 2018 that initially sought to oppose new laws the opposition said were crafted to bar their candidate from participating in planned elections this year.

Hundreds of opposition supporters have occupied the key May 13 square in the heart of the capital Antananarivo. The controversial electoral reforms protest later evolved into demands for the president to step down.

The Defense Minister, general Beni Xavier Rosolofonirina on his part threatened to deploy security forces if government and opposition failed to resolve the crisis.

The situation prompted Madagascar President, Hery Rajaonarimampianina to seek clarification from the constitutional court.

On Friday, May 31, 2018, the constitutional court in its ruling said the Prime Minister and the current government must leave office by June 5, 2018. The court equally ordered the President to form a new government and to name a consensus Prime Minister by June 12 at the latest.

The composition of the government should proportionately reflect the outcome of the last legislative elections in 2013, the court said.

While elections were expected between November and December, the constitutional court has ordered that they should be held in the “Dry Season” between May and September.

However, interpreting the court’s ruling has triggered fierce debate between the government and the opposition. Both sides say they hold majority in parliament, where many legislators have switched allegiance since 2013.

The court’s decision has greatly reduced the tension within the opposition and all eyes are focused on the President to form the new government and name a consensus Premier. The issues of electoral reforms were not addressed by the court in details.

Elected in 2013, Rajaonarimampianina has not yet said if he will stand for re-election during the upcoming poll.

The island nation has been politically volatile since the final years of former Marxist leader, Didier Ratsiraka’s rule. He was ousted in 2001. Neither domestic nor international efforts to resolve the crisis have yet borne fruits.

The most recent effort, a gathering of National Reconciliation Council that included government and opposition delegates failed to resolve the crisis.

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Louvier Kindo
Louvier Kindo 41 Articles

Louvier Kindo Tombe, passionate about radio. He is interested since 2017 in the issues of decentralization, local development and governance.

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