Sun, Aug 09, 2009 - Page 6 News List

Deal to resolve Madagascar crisis may be at hand

AFP , MAPUTO

An accord on ending the political crisis in Madagascar leading to fresh presidential elections in the island nation could be signed yesterday, a mediator involved in the talks said.

“We’re not far from an end to the crisis,” African Union mediator Ablasse Ouedraogo said following talks late on Friday in the Mozambican capital on a political transition charter.

The island nation has become increasingly isolated since president Marc Ravalomanana was ousted in March following demonstrations in which more than 100 people were killed.

Ravalomanana and interim leader Andry Rajoelina are both in Maputo for the negotiations, with previous efforts to resolve the crisis foundering on a political transition charter.

Ouedraogo said talks on the details of the charter were to resume yesterday morning.

He said the charter plus an agreement initially reached on June 15 should both be signed, resulting in a model for how the state will function during the transition to constitutional order.

“So we have a roadmap for the transition ... which should result in a presidential election in 10 months,” Ouedraogo said.

Talks were set to resume at 10am to discuss the leadership of the transition and distribution of posts in the transition administration, said some participants.

Former leaders Didier Ratsiraka and Albert Zafy, who are still considered power-brokers in Madagascar, were also optimistic on a deal being signed yesterday.

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