Members of Madagascar's Reconciliation Council sworn in

2013-03-07 13:36:44 GMT2013-03-07 21:36:44(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

By Laperozy Eric

ANTANANARIVO, March 7 (Xinhua) -- Members of Madagascar's Reconciliation Council (FFM) were sworn in at the Supreme Court of the Indian Ocean country on Thursday.

"I swear to do my duty in respect of human rights. I will work independently with impartiality. I'll respect my status as member of Malagasy reconciliation council. I'll keep the professional secrecy," the 44 members of the council said one by one.

The swearing-in ceremony was held in the presence of President of Court of Cassation Ramilihaingoarinavana Petronille, all chiefs of institutions in Madagascar and representatives of diplomatic corps.

"I have the trust that you will succeed to restore peace in the country in order to hold the elections, for the purpose of economic development of our country," Petronille told the FFM members.

Soon after the ceremony, a member of the FFM, Lalao Randriamampionona, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview that they are facing high expectations.

"It is a historical and fundamental mission, and without which, elections, amnesty, and the rebuilding of republic can not go in the right direction," Randriamampionona said.

Randriamampionona said her institution will call to national application for its president, who may be from outside or within the FFM.

Without office for the moment, the FFM members will hold their first meeting on Monday to begin all the tasks which await them, according to Randriamampionona.

The 44-member FFM includes nine women, dignitaries and civil society activists in a proportion of two representatives for each of the 22 regions in the country.

They were appointed by a government council on Feb 13 to work on amnesty of politicians, the process of national reconciliation and the compensation to victims of political events from 2002 to 2011 in Madagascar.

A few days before the official establishment of the FFM, 11 military officials and five politicians involved in the political crisis in 2002 had already been offered amnesty by the Supreme Court.

The Malagasy Reconciliation Council is the latest institution for the transition, according to a roadmap signed by a dozen political groups in September 2011 to resolve the political crisis in the country.

The crisis in Madagascar began in December 2008, following a stalemate between Marc Ravalomanana, president from 2002 to March 2009, and Andry Rajoelina, mayor of Madagascar's capital Antananarivo from 2007 to 2009.

The massive demonstration led by Rajoelina, 39, resulted in the power transfer by Ravalomanana, 63, on March 17, 2009 to a military directorate, which handed over power to Rajoelina hours later. Ravalomanana has been in exile in South Africa since departure.

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