Madagascar’s political rivals summoned

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iol pic afr madagascar rajoelina AFP Andry Rajoelina. File photo: AFP

Antananarivo - Madagascar's security forces have summoned the island's rival political leaders to an emergency meeting on Wednesday to discuss their controversial candidacies for upcoming presidential polls.

The heads of the police and armed forces signed a document “inviting” strongman Andry Rajoelina, Lalao Ravalomanana, the wife of his rival, and former president Didier Ratsiraka to talks.

The three shocked the international community by announcing they would run in upcoming presidential elections slated for July 24.

The polls are intended to end a four-year political deadlock since Rajoelina ousted Marc Ravalomanana with military backing in 2009.

A internationally-backed peace plan called for the two men not to run.

But Lalao Ravalomanana announced her candidacy earlier this year, and Rajoelina followed suit shortly after, saying she would govern as her husband's puppet.

The military has played a key role in Malagasy politics over the years, backing and perpetrating numerous coups. - Sapa-AFP

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