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New election dates boycotted by major parties
Fresh dates have been set for elections in Madagascar after the interim government, with the help of mediators, reached an agreement with close to 100 smaller parties. But the accord, which is due to be adopted on Friday, could have little practical effect as three major parties boycotted the consultations.
Presidential elections are now due to take place in the middle of next year, with a vote on a constitutional referendum set to be held on 17 November.
The Indian Ocean island has been paralysed by a political crisis since March 2009, when Andry Rajoelina seized power from Marc Ravalomanana in a military-backed coup. Power-sharing negotiations in South Africa in April failed to reach a positive conclusion.
Rajoelina’s transitional government had originally set dates for a constitutional referendum in August and a presidential election in November.
However, he lacked the political support to carry them out. The main opposition parties say they will only take part in elections that are organised by all major parties, as opposed to Rajoelina’s interim administration.