June 10, 2013

Madagascar's bishops called on candidates in the next general election to shun demagogy and put the common good at the centre of their campaigns.

"Do not put the country up for auction, and remain trustworthy citizens," the bishops urged in a pastoral letter issued May 24.

After six years of instability triggered by a popular uprising, the transitional government is to be replaced after general elections.

The bishops' message also reflected on the country's widening gap between rich and poor.

"The abundance of our wealth in natural resources is in sharp contrast with the acute poverty of the majority of the population," they said.

"Instead of creating jobs and improving living conditions of the Malagasy people, the mineral wealth is pillaged by multinational corporations with the complicity of our national leaders."