Madagascar's leader Andry Rajoelina has said he will not stand in elections to be held later this year, in an attempt to end the country's political crisis. Mr Rajoelina, 35, who seized power in March 2009, has been facing pressure to find a solution to the deadlock.

Adolphe E. Rakotomanga

Alex Free

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With Madagascar's political crisis still far from resolved, economic and social rights have remained outside of the concerns of the country's leadership and mainstream media alike, writes Zo Randriamaro. Incidents of human rights abuses have been much less publicised than developments around political competition, Randriamaro notes, a reality reflective of elite concerns for self-protection and personal enrichment at the expense of ordinary livelihoods.

The protagonists in Madagascar's political crisis have agreed to attend talks in South Africa on April 28. President Andry Rajoelina ousted Marc Ravalomanana with the help of dissident soldiers in March last year after weeks of popular protests. The two have been at loggerheads ever since as international mediators work to install a unity government.

Madagascar's leader has vowed to disband his internationally rejected government and form an interim body with an ousted opposition leader following an ultimatum from the army to solve a festering crisis. Analysts say there has been growing unease in some quarters of the government and military, and increased international pressure on Andry Rajoelina to solve the crisis, which has unnerved investors in the island's oil and mineral resources.