Madagascar to Restore Parliament This Month as Political Crisis Continues

Madagascar’s government will restore parliament before next year’s elections, 18 months after President Andry Rajoelina seized power with the help of the military and closed the legislature.
A decree signed by Rajoelina yesterday will set up a 256- seat Congress of the Transition and a 90-seat Higher Council of the Transition, replacing the previous Senate and National Assembly. The decree was e-mailed to the press late yesterday.

The two new chambers will include representatives from the opposition, based on a “mutual agreement with the political parties and takes into account the representation of the whole political class,” according to the decree. The measure stems from talks in August and September that were boycotted by the opposition because they replaced a previous power-sharing agreement supported by the international community.

Madagascar is scheduled for a referendum on a new constitution next month, local elections in December, parliamentary elections in March and a presidential vote in May.

The new parliament will convene between Oct. 11 and Oct. 26, from Nov. 19 to Dec. 9 and again in February, according to the decree. Members of the Congress of the Transition will be appointed on Oct. 11, while those on the Higher Council will be named on Oct. 12.

Mediation efforts by the South African Development Community to find a power-sharing agreement between Rajoelina and opposition leaders have failed.

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