June 13, 2015 / 8:50 AM / 3 years ago

Madagascar court rejects parliament's impeachment of the president

Madagascar's President Hery Rajaonarimampianina arrives at an European Union-Africa summit in Brussels April 2, 2014. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

ANTANANARIVO (Reuters) - Madagascar’s constitutional court on Saturday threw out parliament’s impeachment of President Hery Rajaonarimampianina, calling the move “unfounded” and helping to avoid a political crisis.

Rajaonarimampianina, who took office last year in the first vote since a 2009 military coup, had challenged the legality of last month’s motion, saying there were irregularities during the voting. He has remained in power as both sides awaited the ruling by the constitutional court.

At stake, the president’s supporters say, was the stability of the Indian Ocean state which has significant mineral resources but has been struggling to rebuild itself after years of crisis.

Rajaonarimampianina’s critics in parliament brought the impeachment motion after accusing him of failing to deliver on his promises since his peaceful 2013 election and of improperly dragging religion into politics.

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