President James Michel of the Seychelles has expressed confidence in the implementation of the SADC Roadmap on Madagascar following the conclusion of the SADC Summit.
The SADC Summit of Heads of State in Maputo has endorsed a series of recommendations on the way forward for Madagascar, following the submission of the report of the Troika on Politics, Peace, and Security, which was chaired by the Republic of South Africa in the person of President Jacob Zuma.
President Michel has hailed the recommendations as being an important step in bringing Madagascar back to constitutional normalcy.
“Since the two Malagasy leaders themselves have not come to an agreement, it has been up to the SADC Summit to map out the way forward, particularly taking into account the risk of the security situation in the country. We are pleased that the recommendations have stipulated that great care is taken with regards to the modalities for the return of the former president to safeguard a secure environment to prepare elections. We also take note that the proposal for both leaders not to stand in the election offers perhaps the simplest solution. We urge both leaders to continue discussions with a view to finding a solution that prioritizes the Malagasy people,” said President Michel.
President Michel has also committed Seychelles to continue to work with the incoming Troika chaired by the United Republic of Tanzania to ensure that the road to the election is a smooth one.
Seychelles had played a key supporting role in the preparation of the recommendations by hosting the two meetings held between former President Marc Ravalomanana and President of the Transition Authority Andry Rajoelina, and also through its participation in the SADC consultation mission to
Madagascar from August 10-12, 2012.
Following the meetings in Seychelles, where no agreement was reached between the leaders, the SADC Summit has mapped out the steps to be taken to ensure that the preparation of elections goes smoothly.
The key recommendations of the SADC Summit are:
– Full endorsement of the elections calendar proposed by the UN and the CENIT (Commission Electoral National Independente de la Transition). Presidential elections will thus take place on May 8, 2012.
– While the SADC Summit cannot pronounce itself on whether the leaders can present themselves or not, the Summit has taken note of the report of the consultation mission that the proposal for both leaders not to stand would offer the best route towards ensuring peaceful elections.
– The Summit has recognized the risk of violence and instability in relation to the eventual return of former President Ravalomanana, and has asked the Secretariat to dispatch a team of security experts to Madagascar to assess the security environment with a view to making recommendations on the return of former President Marc Ravalomanana. The return of the former President will be done in consultation with the Transition Government security establishment to ensure that the stability of the country is maintained.
– The Summit has called for full implementation of the amnesty in favor of President Ravalomanana, while ensuring that it is done in a manner coherent with the application of Article 45 concerning the respect of Malagasy laws and sovereignty.
– The Summit has called for the international community to engage the Troika with a view to implementing the progressive lifting of sanctions against Madagascar.