ANTANANARIVO, MADAGASCAR, 10 JUNE 2018 – The Prime Minister of Madagascar, Olivier Mahafaly Solonandrasana, has resigned in a move that would allow for the naming of a “consensus” premier to avert a full-blown political crisis. The Constitutional Court in Madagascar ordered President Hery Rajaonarimampianina to form a government of national unity with a “consensus prime minister”.

The entire current government was required to resign by June 12 to give room for the reforms to be implemented. The new government, the court requested, should reflect the outcome of the last legislative elections held in 2013. The opposition says the new laws have been crafted to prevent their candidates from participating in elections planned for later this year.

Hundreds of opposition supporters have occupied the May 13 Square in the capital, Antananarivo, violently protesting Rajaonarimampianina’s proposed electoral reforms. The reform proposals were overturned by the courts leading opposition groups to start clamoring for the ousting of Rajaonarimampianina.

Efforts to resolve the crisis have been inconclusive so far, including one by the National Reconciliation Council whose members include government and opposition delegates.

The defense minister of Madagascar, Beni Xavier Rasolofonirina, threatened last Thursday to deploy security forces if political efforts to resolve the crisis fail.

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