Madagascar opposition asks court to unseat defecting MPs

2018-05-30 10:36


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The opposition in Madagascar on Tuesday petitioned the country's top court to unseat 18 of its lawmakers who crossed the floor to join the ruling party.

The move comes just days after the same Constitutional Court ordered President Hery Rajaonarimampianina to form a unity government in a bid to end a political crisis that has plagued the island nation for more than a month.

In the decision on Friday, the court also said a consensus prime minister must be found to lead the country until general elections expected by the end of September.

Opposition MP Jean Brunelle Razafitsiandraofa told reporters the defectors' action following 2013 elections was unconstitutional.

The party with the majority in parliament normally has the right to appoint a prime minister, and if the 18 defectors lose their seats, the opposition will have the upper hand in the selection process.

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The large Indian Ocean island nation has been rocked by violent protests against Rajaonarimampianina over electoral laws that the opposition says bar their candidates from standing.

The crisis has triggered international concern, with the African Union, the UN and regional bloc Southern African Development Community (SADC) all dispatching envoys.

Madagascar has seen a series of popular protest movements since gaining independence from France in 1960, often resulting in bloodshed.

Elected in 2013, Rajaonarimampianina has not yet announced whether he will stand for re-election.

But two former heads of state have already mooted runs: Marc Ravalomanana, who was president from 2002 until he was ousted in a 2009 coup, and Andry Rajoelina, who removed Ravalomanana during another coup.

The two former rivals have joined forces in the protests against the government.

Read more on:    sadc  |  hery rajaonarimampianina  |  andry rajoelina  |  madagascar  |  southern africa

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