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The political situation in Madagascar is very tense, EU HR said

Declaration by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, on behalf of the European Union, on the political situation in Madagascar

The European Union remains very concerned about the current political situation in Madagascar, where the High Transitional Authority has decided to implement the road map emerging from the Ivato Political Agreement (13 August 2010) and from the National Conference in September 2010, which included the holding of a constitutional referendum on 17 November 2010.

Owing to the lack of consensus and transparency surrounding the adoption of that route out of the crisis, the European Union has been unable to agree to a request by the Malagasy authorities to send an EU election observer mission to Madagascar for the constitutional referendum and for the local elections to be held on 20 December 2010.

The referendum was held peacefully on 17 November throughout the territory of Madagascar. However, on the same day an abortive military coup d'état took place near the international airport of Antananarivo. It bears witness to persistent economic, social and security tensions.

The European Union would call on the High Transitional Authority and on all well-intentioned Malagasy factions with the national interest at heart to resume dialogue as a matter of urgency to ensure that the transition process is really based on consensus and allows the appointment of a government of national unity and a swift return to constitutional order, founded on credible and open elections.

The European Union urges the international mediation team led by the African Union and by the SADC to consider how best to reinvolve itself rapidly in the intra-Malagasy process, in order to make it more consensual and democratic, with the support of the international community. The European Union stands ready to make a political and financial contribution to such facilitation, with the aim of bringing an end to a protracted political crisis whose economic and social consequences are growing worse by the day.

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