Madagascar court blocks bid to oust president

Hery RajaonarimampianinaMadagascar’s constitutional court on Saturday rejected as invalid a decision by parliament to oust President Hery Rajaonarimampianina, giving him another chance to lead the island nation’s shaky government.

The country’s parliament had voted overwhelmingly in late May to dismiss Rajaonarimampianina for alleged constitutional violations and general incompetence.

“The application must be rejected as unfounded,” said the court in a statement.

The tribunal stated that the accusations of treason, violating the constitution and disregarding presidential duties were unfounded and the impeachment was therefore inadmissible.

Rajaonarimampianina had challenged the legality of lawmakers’ motion, accusing his opponents of having bought the vote.

His critics say he has failed to deliver on his economic programme and accuse him of stalling on the establishment of a high court and on promised reforms.

A spokesman for the opposition party Mapar, Pierre Houlder, called the decision of the constitutional court on Saturday “ridiculous”. The spokesman for the presidential party, Rivo Rakotovao, meanwhile supported the outcome.

Rakotovao pointed at the possible dissolution of parliament should lawmakers continue to block the work of the government.

The current political crisis, if not resolved quickly, is threatening to derail the Indian Ocean country’s fragile peace and economic development.

Rajaonarimampianina, a trained accountant, came to power in January 2014 vowing to end the turmoil that followed a coup in 2009.

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