Madagascar leaders to meet on unity govt deadlock

Madagascar’s political leaders will meet this week to break the deadlock over the make-up of a unity government called for in power-sharing deal, the country’s co-president said on.
African nations and foreign donors say the establishment of a unity government and a roadmap to fresh elections are essential for the international community to re-engage with the diplomatically-isolated Indian Ocean Island.
“We must not hide from the population that the process is difficult. There are different obstacles along the way,” co-President Fetison Andrianirina told reporters.
The Indian Ocean Island’s leaders will meet outside Madagascar next week to hammer out who takes which key ministerial posts, he said.
No details were given on where or when the meeting would take place.
President Andry Rajoelina, former presidents Marc Ravalomanana, Didier Ratsiraka and Albert Zafy signed a new power-sharing deal in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa earlier this month.
Negotiations are stalled over who takes Justice and Foreign Affairs ministries. Agriculture, Communication and the Ministry of Mines are also sources of conflict.
Observers say holding the Ministry of Communications could prove a powerful tool in the run up to a presidential election which must be held by late November next year under the terms of the deal.
Major oil and mining companies have poured into the world’s fourth largest island in recent years, looking to extract its reserves of oil, nickel, cobalt, gold, uranium and ilmenite.
Political turmoil has rocked the country since Rajoelina, 35, unseated Ravalomanana with military support in March, drawing widespread condemnation from regional blocs and foreign leaders. The African Union suspended Madagascar in March.

Pic: Army backed President- Andry Rajoelina of Madagascar