Madagascar’s govt hopes for recognition after poll


Madagascar said it hoped the international community would recognise its transitional government after a new constitution was passed paving the way for a presidential election next year.

The Indian Ocean island’s Constitutional Court said official referendum results showed 74 percent of voters were in favour of the new charter with a turnout of 52.61 percent. The final results were barely changed from the provisional tally published on November 22.

Political analysts said given the main opposition parties had called for the referendum to be boycotted, a turnout above 50 percent was a respectable performance, Reuters reports.
“We are awaiting international recognition,” Prime Minister Camille Vital told reporters after the results were released.
“It is up to the international community to judge. Looking at what’s going on in Ivory Coast, let’s see which it recognises first,” said Vital.

Ivory Coast’s Laurent Gbagbo was sworn in as president on Saturday even though the electoral commission had declared rival Alassane Ouattara the winner of the November 28 poll.

Madagascar was plunged into diplomatic isolation in March 2009 when President Andry Rajoelina seized power with the help of dissident soldiers, ousting Marc Ravalomanana.

Internationally-brokered power-sharing deals between Rajoelina and three opposition parties headed by former presidents all collapsed amid disagreements over who should get top government posts.

International donors such as the United States froze non-emergency aid and the African Union imposed sanctions on Rajoelina and his backers after a number of attempts to strike deals failed.

Rajoelina has pressed ahead unilaterally with a roadmap to restore constitutional order to the world’s fourth largest island. Now the new constitution has been passed, the country is due to hold a presidential election in May 2011. Rajoelina has so far said he does not plan to run.

While voting in the November referendum passed off peacefully, a small group of rebel officers tried to launch a coup on polling day from a barracks on the outskirts of the capital Antananarivo. The group failed to muster support from the rest of the army and the mutineers were arrested after a raid on the barracks.