SADC states refuse to recognise new Madagascar leader

MAPUTO, (Reuters) – Southern African countries have  refused to recognise Madagascar’s new leader, Andry Rajoelina,  and urged the international community and African Union to  reject him as well.

Mozambique, Angola and Swaziland, which make up the defence,  political and security troika of regional grouping SADC, which  includes Madagascar, said at the end of a mini-summit in  Swaziland that democracy should be restored in Madagascar.

“The Extraordinary Summit of the Organ Troika therefore  calls on the African Union and the International Community not  to recognize the appointment of Mr Rajoelina,” said a troika  statement.

“And put pressure to bear on the de facto authorities in  Madagascar to return that country back to democratic and  constitutional rule in the shortest time possible.”

Rajoelina, who at 34 is Africa’s youngest president, took  power on Tuesday after leading strikes and demonstrations  against President Marc Ravalomanana since the start of 2009.

“In the event of non-cooperation and non-compliance by the  de facto regime in Madagascar, the Summit of the Organ Troika  shall recommend to Summit to consider imposing appropriate  sanctions and/or use all relevant resources available to restore  order in Madagascar,” said the statement.

Ravalomanana handed power to the military, and they in turn  appointed Rajoelina. A former disc jockey and sacked mayor of  Antananarivo, Rajoelina is nicknamed “TGV”, after the fast  French train, because of his rapid-fire personality.

Though Madagascar’s Constitutional Court has endorsed  Rajoelina’s takeover, various world bodies including the African  Union (AU) and United Nations have expressed concern at the  change in leadership without a vote.

“In the circumstances SADC does not and cannot recognize Mr  Rajoelina as President of Madagascar because his appointment not  only violates the Constitution of Madagascar and democratic  principles, but violates the core principles and Treaty of SADC,  the African Union and the United Nations Charters,” the  statement said.

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