Madagascar’s president fires all his ministers, citing ‘government failures’

Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina sacked all his ministers, his office said, days after he criticized some of their sub-par actions and weeks after officials said they had foiled a plot to assassinate the former coup leader.

Rajoelina’s office gave no reason for the layoffs in a statement released Wednesday night.

On Sunday, Rajoelina said that the performance of some ministers was unsatisfactory.

“As in a soccer team, you have to change when there are failures in the government,” he said in comments broadcast on national television.

“There will be a change and this concerns those who do not do the work that is entrusted to them.”

Last week, a senior prosecutor said Madagascar had arrested 21 more suspects, including 12 military personnel, in connection with a plot to kill Rajoelina and overthrow the government.

Six people, one of them a French national, were arrested last month on suspicion of involvement in the plot, following what authorities said was a months-long investigation on the Indian Ocean island.

Madagascar, a former impoverished French colony of 26 million people, has a history of political violence and instability. Rajoelina, 44, was sworn in as president in 2019 after highly controversial elections and a challenge to his rival’s constitutional court.

Rajoelina first seized power in a coup in March 2009, overthrowing Marc Ravalomanana. He maintained control at the head of a transitional government until 2014.

In the 2019 elections, Ravalomanana challenged Rajoelina, lost and said the vote was fraudulent.

(REUTERS)

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