Madagascar’s interim government Wednesday postponed key elections, meant to end a four-year political deadlock on the island, after a special court found outside factors had derailed the poll preparations. The Government Council decided “to call on the CENIT (election commission) to determine an election calendar”, it announced in a statement, opening the way for a new vote date. An electoral court on Tuesday declared a force majeure had compromised organisation for the July 24 presidential and parliamentary polls. It found the suspension of donor funds and international rejection of three controversial presidential candidates made it unlikely the Indian Ocean island would be ready by that date.
Interim leader Andry Rajoelina, 38, who seized power with military backing in 2009, had on Monday asked for a one-month suspension of the vote. He refused to resign from his position on the two-month deadline ahead of elections as is required.
The African Union meanwhile has refused to recognise his candidacy, along with those of his rival’s wife Lalao Ravalomanana and of former president Didier Ratsiraka.
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