African nations blocked the president of
The Democratic Republic of Congo, speaking on behalf of the 15-member Southern African Development Community, said Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina should be barred, a motion later carried by a vote on the Assembly floor.
The president of the Assembly,
“I’m not sure what we just voted for. I’m totally confused,” one delegate said after the circuitously worded motion was put the floor.
Finally, with most countries abstaining, the Africans marshaled 23 votes against Rajoelina versus four in support and he was prevented from taking the podium.
The island state has experienced months of political turmoil after Rajoelina, 35, led violent street protests culminating in a military-backed coup in March that toppled former leader Marc Ravalomanana.
The United Nations joined the African Union and the European Union in branding the power-grab unconstitutional and called for
The African Union in particular has been trying to take a stronger stance against coups, hoping to break the continent’s history of military takeovers.
Rajoelina’s invitation to the General Assembly had spurred speculation in
Opposition parties say they remain united in their determination to pick a consensus government, and last weekend saw a return to street violence after riot police clashed with opposition supporters.