Madagascar leader and Prime minister at loggerheads again By RIVONALA RAZAFISON in Antananarivo | Friday, February 1  2013 at  16:26

Andry Rajoelina
Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina (L) and Prime Minister Jean Omer Beriziky (R).  RIVONALA RAZAFISON | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina on Thursday called for the resignation of under-performing top government officials.

Electoral fever in Madagascar has affected senior government officials as the presidential election planned for May 8 approaches.

The country’s leader left Antananarivo on Thursday night for New York where he is expected to hold talks with the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon over the scheduled elections.

He strived to convince the international community to accept the electoral date change he proposed on January 15.

For him, the legislative elections should take place before the presidential polls in which he has agreed not to run so as to end the country’s long-running political crisis.

According to unofficial sources, President Rajoelina's plan has not gone well with Prime Minister Jean Omer Beriziky.

“If certain officials feel unable to accomplish their mission, it would be preferable for them to quit office in order to not deceive the population,” the president said at a military ceremony held at the State House Iavoloha on Thursday.

Roadmap

According to political observers, the thinly veiled salvo was targeting the premier.

Communication minister Harry Laurent Rahajason who is a close ally of Mr Rajoelina, in an address carried by state media TVM-RNM, openly blamed Prime Minister Beriziky and accused him of blocking the crisis resolution.

On Wednesday, Mr Rajoelina and Mr Beriziky reportedly clashed during a Cabinet meeting.

Mr Rajoelina is angry that the legal framework for the elections which was expected be enacted by on February 7 is yet to be discussed. It must be enacted 90 days before the election day.

The two top leaders have been at loggerheads ever since Mr Beriziky was consensually appointed in October 2011.

Before then, Mr Rajoelina was used to unilateral rule.

Last year, Mr Beriziky spoke out and said the incumbent president should not take part in the upcoming election.

In the meantime, President Rajoelina’s backers have been calling for the resignation of Mr Beriziky.

It is however impossible for the president to axe him as the internationally brokered roadmap bars him from doing so.