Madagascar – Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times is …

Is this a record? Madagascar has had three prime ministers in 48 hours.

The story began on Friday. With the Addis Ababa accord having broken down, Rajoelina dismissed the ‘consensus’ prime minister, Eugène Mangalaza, who had been appointed at the end of October. In his place, Rajoelina appointed Cécile Manorohanta, who had previously been a Vice-PM. Then, on Sunday, Rajoelina issued a decree dismissing Manorohanta and replacing her with Colonel Albert Camille Vital. No reason was given for the change, but Manorohanta is being described as an “interim” prime minister.

In addition, Rajoelina has reinstated the so-called High Council of the Transition, the body which took power after the coup earlier this year. The Maputo and Addis Ababa accords had replaced this body with new institutions, but they have now been replaced in turn.

While the new PM has some association with former president, Didier Ratsiraka, the reinstatement of the High Council of the Transition is a further sign that Rajoelina has abandoned any consensus position at this this point.

I am continuing to report on Madagascar on the assumption that it is likely to reinstate semi-presidentialism when a new constitution is adopted, though that point is looking an increasingly long way away.

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