Mbeki plans to visit Madagascar - Envoy

Saint Denis- Reunion (PANA) -- South African President and current chair of the African Union (AU), Thabo Mbeki, is to lead an AU delegation to Madagascar soon, Mauritian press reported at the weekend quoting Louis Mnguni, South African Ambassador to Mauritius.
During his trip, Mbeki is expected to ask President Marc Ravalomanana to hold fresh elections in Madagascar, the report added.
The OAU before it was replaced by the AU, had ordered fresh elections on the Island following a bitter electoral dispute between Ravalomanana and former Malagasy President Didier Ratsiraka, now in France.
Mnguni said the African Union "is willing to assist Malagasy people to normalise their country's political situation and create an environment to attract investors".
But the Ambassador insisted the AU "cannot recognise a government that has not been elected democratically," adding that the organisation, would "promote the values of democracy, good governance, human rights, while mobilising its members to curb misery, unemployment and inequalities".
He explained that the African Union upholds the OAU's stance on the Malagasy crisis.
"Marc Ravalomanana made a mistake in proclaiming himself winner of the elections before the results were published.
OAU could not accept this declaration and asked for new elections.
"The position of AU on the Malagasy crisis is that of the whole member States.
We could not, at the risk of jeopardising AU structures, adopt another position," Mnguni stressed.
In addition to the US, Britain and Germany, Ravalomanana's government has also been recognised by three African countries - Senegal, Burkina Faso and Mauritius.

05 august 2002 20:29:00

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