Ravalomanana backers to name new candidate
27 August 2013, 09:41
Antananarivo - Backers of the deposed president of
Madagascar said on Monday they would name a new candidate to run in a delayed
presidential election after his wife was barred from the race.
Supporters of former president Marc Ravalomanana earlier
this month threatened to take to the streets after Madagascar's Special
Electoral Court (CES) blocked his wife, Lalao Ravalomanana, as well as
President Andry Rajaoelina, from running.
Monday's announcement could help defuse tensions on the
Indian Ocean Island that has been blighted by political turmoil since
Rajaoelina toppled Ravalomanana in 2009 with the help of the military after
But it was not immediately clear if a new candidate would be
accepted as the deadline for submitting names has past.
Rajaoelina and Ravalomanana had reached a deal with regional
states to restore order on the island, based on the condition neither would
run. But Rajaoelina changed tack when Ravalomanana's wife declared, saying her
bid broke the spirit of the pact.
"We wish to present our candidate to replace Mrs Lalao
Ravalomanana to the CES," Mamy Rakotoarivelo, the president of the
National Assembly, said, speaking after the court refused to rescind its
decision to bar the former leader's wife.
He did not name the new candidate but added that "we
will soon know his identity".
The election is now scheduled for October, the third time
the date has been put back. It was originally planned for May.
The court's ruling to bar the candidates was welcomed by
regional and Western powers who say the former French colony needs a fresh
start after years of chaos that have scared off investors and tourists,
deepening poverty in the poor nation.