No let up in the push for Madagascar leader's exit

Thursday June 14 2018

Madagascar President Hery Rajaonarimampianina

Madagascar President Hery Rajaonarimampianina and Prime Minister Louis Christian Ntsay (front left) pose with the members of the new cabinet unveiled at the State House of Iavoloha on June 11, 2018. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By RIVONALA RAZAFISON
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Protests for the resignation of Madagascar’s President Hery Rajaonarimampianina continue despite the unveiling of the unity cabinet on Monday.

Some of the new cabinet ministers were yet to access their office, with the public servants and angry protesters determined to stop them.

At least nine out of the 30 ministries have been affected.

Finances, Education, Telecommunications, Agriculture, Lands, Communication, Culture, Public Function and Scientific Research ministries have all been affected by the protests.

The Telecommunications ministry employees, for instance, have since Tuesday blocked with a van the main gate to the office near the Presidential Palace in Antananinarenina in Antananarivo.

The appointees

Some of the angry mobs even disrupted the ministers' swearing-in.

Protesters Thursday vowed not to let the appointees to the ruling party HVM take office.

They said they wanted new faces, insisting the ruling party associates were tainted.

The Malagasy journalists on Wednesday also called for the dismissal of the Communications minister Riana Andriamandavy.

Students from the Antananarivo university besieged the Higher Education and Scientific Research headquarters in Tsimbazaza.

Corruption

In a parallel move, the employees of the Agriculture and Livestock and their counterparts at the Lands ministries demanded the immediate replacement of their respective ministers.

“MPs for Change” urged the Prime Minister, Mr Christian Ntsay, to resign on Wednesday.

But the premier asked everyone to let the government execute its mandate.

“Elections are our priority. We need to strengthen governance and fight against corruption in the administration at once,” he stated.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed the new Malagasy government created following a constitutional court order.