Antananarivo, Jun 28 (AFP) Madagascar’s new Prime Minister Christian Ntsay vowed today that elections would be “transparent” and “free” after the Constitutional Court had ordered the formation of a “consensus” government to stage the polls by year’s end. Also Read - Cristiano Ronaldo Fails to Score as Inter Milan Beat Juventus 2-0 in Serie A Clash to go Top of The Points Table

The Indian Ocean island nation had been in the grip of a growing crisis over proposed electoral reforms that triggered mass protests and led the court to order a care-taker government to organise a fresh ballot. Also Read - Live Cricket Score Ind vs Aus 4th Test Day 4 Today's Match Live Updates Gabba, Brisbane: Australia Eye Quick Runs, India Aim Early Wickets

“A transparent and free election is our main priority,” said Ntsay in parliament which has just resumed normal business after several months of instability. Also Read - Brisbane Weather Forecast For 4th Test Day 4: Rain Play Spoilsport During India-Australia at Gabba, Start Time

He added that the government would not stop “anyone from (contesting) the election” and would soon publish the law formally mandating the polls.

The original draft of the electoral laws prompted widespread protests with opposition supporters accusing President Heri Rajaonarimampianina of seeking to favour his party. Those demonstrations evolved into calls for the president to resign.

To avert the breakdown of Madagascar’s political system, the Constitutional Court last month ordered the appointment of a government representative of all parties and capable of organising polls by the end of the year.

The court also ruled that the polls should be held during the island’s dry season which is between now and October — but no specific date was given.

President Rajaonarimampianina has yet to say whether he will seek re-election in the polls which will be contested by two of his predecessors and arch-rivals Marc Ravalomanana and Andry Rajoelina. (AFP) KIS KIS

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.