Antananarivo - Madagascar strongman Andry Rajoelina said on Wednesday
that presidential elections scheduled for July - in which he is controversially
running - will probably not be held because international donors have pulled
the plug on funding.
"The reality is that the international community took
the decision to suspend funding," he told reporters, questioning if the
July 24 poll would go ahead.
The African Union and international community are unhappy
with the candidacy of Rajoelina, who seized power in 2009, and that of two
rivals in the presidential vote.
"Personally I strongly doubt that given the pace things
are going today... I ask myself if the elections will still be held on July
24?" said Rajoelina.
He was speaking after a meeting to discuss the contentious
candidacies that was called by security forces, the electoral commission and
national reconciliation bodies.
The halting of European Union funds was raised by the
president of the electoral commission last week, but the three candidates have
refused to pull out of the vote.
African political blocs have come out strongly against
Rajoelina throwing his hat into the ring along with Lalao Ravalomanana, wife of
the leader he ousted, and another ex-president Didier Ratsiraka.
Joining the criticism, the UN leader Ban Ki-moon on Monday
backed the calls by the African Union and the Southern African Development
Community for the trio to withdraw.
The groups have slammed the decision by Madagascar's
electoral court to accept their nominations.
This was despite Rajoelina registering after the deadline
and the other two having not lived in Madagascar for the past six months as the
election law demands.
If the funding for the poll was withdrawn, Rajoelina said
the country had $24.5m from the sale of a presidential aircraft that
"could finance the elections if necessary".
The former mayor reneged on an earlier vow not to run and is
meant to resign on Friday, 60 days before the vote, but has not confirmed he
will do so.