By Lesley Connolly
Madagascar was thrown into political crisis in 2009 by an unconstitutional change in leadership which replaced Marc Ravalomanana with Andry Rajoelina as head of state. Over the past four years this crisis deteriorated into a firmly-imbedded political impasse. This stalemate seemed to have eased slightly when both Ravalomanana and Rajoelina declared, in December 2012 and January 2013 respectively, that they would not stand in the May 2013 elections. Notwithstanding these pronouncements, however, speculation and uncertainty still persist around the implications of these statements on efforts to resolve the political impasse and whether the country will be able to finally move forward. This Policy & Practice Brief examines two key issues impeding the peace process in Madagascar: the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Roadmap, an agreement initiated and signed in September 2011 by SADC to lay the road to peace in Madagascar, and the question of elections. It discusses the implications of the recent announcements made by the two protagonists on efforts to break the impasse and provides recommendations to support Madagascar’s progress towards longterm peace and stability.