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In March 2009, backed by large parts of the military and in the context of street protests in the capital, Antananarivo, current interim President Andre Rajoelina seized power from the incumbent, Marc Ravalomanana, who fled into exile in South Africa. The international community viewed it as an illegal coup d’état and took steps to isolate Rajeolina and his government.

Since September 2011, a regionally-brokered agreement, signed by all the contending Malagasy parties, has been in place. Amongst other things, it provides for a one-year transition to new parliamentary and presidential elections. However, at just over the half-way point, the agreement is looking fragile and could yet collapse.

The key unresolved issue is whether ex-president Marc Ravalomanana, who has been convicted in absentia on charges of complicity in murder in connection with the shooting of protestors in 2009, should be covered by an unconditional amnesty and allowed to return to Madagascar from abroad. Ravalomanana and his supporters allege that the conviction was unjustified and politically-motivated. In April 2012 an Amnesty Law was passed which appears designed not to apply to him.


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