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Madagascar tackles presidential crisis

Madagascar's President Hery Rajaonarimampianina AFP PHOTO / RIJASOLO

Madagascar's government was grappling with a new crisis on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after parliament voted for the impeachment of President Hery Rajaonarimanpianina, who went on television this morning, challenging the constitutionality of the vote. Now Malagasys will wait for the constitutional court to decide whether the president will be impeached or not. Was this an absolute surprise vote, or just a reaction to other issues? Listen to how experts and political players view this latest problem:

"The president’s attempt to create his own new independent political base, he is, in fact, antagonized [former president Andry] Rajoelina, if you like, by reaching out to former president Ravalomanana. So he’s turned the tables on all the traditional alliances and this has produced an extraordinarily unstable political situation, where the loyalties of members of parliament are more or less up for sale. Key votes have often been won, for example, in one case, a vote was passed because the government handed out deputies free tablet computers to secure their votes. In another case they said they wouldn’t vote through key measure unless they were given 4-wheel drive vehicles. This has created a climate of bargains and instability, rather than any sense of a proper agenda." -- Paul Melly, journalist and associate fellow for the Africa programme at Chatham House, London