Madagascar News- Current Issues and Perspectives

Tension at its Heights: Confusion in Madagascar

In Economics, Politics, Society, Timeline on September 9, 2009 at 5:41 pm

Confusion and cautiousness reigned in Madagascar after Rajoelina’s announcement of his new government, as the first reactions to Rajoelina unilateral decision of power grabbing were even more mitigated than ever.

Although the decision is immediately perceived  to be a deal-breaker by concerned parties, first headlines in the local press focused on the formation of the new government and the background of the new ministers. International press highlights the rejection of the unilateral decision by both the SADC and appointed crisis mediators.

However, by Thrusday 10th in Madagascar, local headlines have changed. Former President Zafy Albert states that Rajoelina is looking for “war” as reported by Midi Madagascar. According to L’Express de Madagascar Zafy Albert has set an ultimatum to Rajoelina for nullifying  his decision.

According to local press, the three former heads of state may come to a common decision on protesting against Rajoelina. Some factions of the army seem also to distance themselves from Rajoelina, according to Sobika.com.

Controversially, the newly appointed cabinet members feel the need to justify their decisions, sharing their viewpoints with l’Express de Madagascar.  The argument is technical  rather than political, mention the majority of the interviewees.

Overseas, there are reports of violence and protests by the opposition. The situation is dangerous and could evolve rapidly.

Madagascar: Rajoelina Power Grab and Slap to the US and the UN (September 8, 2009)

The pace of events has been making Malagasies hold their breath over the last forty eight hours as Reuters is among the first international medias to report that the opposition refuses Rajoelina unilateral decision of a “consensual government” of his group sole leadership, and quoting a politician that Madagascar is on its way to a “dangerous situation.” Caution is “de rigueur.”
This is a slap to the UN and US following their yesterday’s strong statements. Rajoelina had previously gathered his followers and prepared them for this decision. There is no indication if the decision is from Rajoelina himself or stems from his holdover surrounding aids, including the mutiny. Meanwhile,  reactions in Madagascar are mitigated, ranging from public silence to organized protests, typical manifestation of Malagasy culture and politics. The situation undoubtedly causes at least discomfort, if not frustration, awaiting official, international reaction. Local press is cautious: no one really can predict the turn of events at this time. Economic sustainability is a major question that is brought up by the medias and is the pivotal leverage of the “legalistic” opposition group.

Official statements have being issued by major stakeholders, justifying of their respective positions.   Sobika has posted Ratsiraka statement about his refusal of any involvement with the tandem Rajoelina-Roindefo. Tiako i Madagascar has published Ravalomanana Maputo statement denouncing the recognition of a “putschist” administration. Local press covered the Zafy position of curtailing the mutiny power through enforcement of neutrality. The Cyber Observer has posted the  statement issued by the army for refusing any political involvement. It is obvious that at this point, all stakeholders including Rajoelina,  despite his controversial unilateral decision,  claim to be wanting to remain firm in supporting the Maputo agreement.  However, public protests have resumed at the Ravalomanana quarters and overseas.

This is another evidence of power grab by Rajoelina who violently overthrew the Ravalomanana administration eight months ago,  putting the country in unprecedented turmoil, and where now fear and lack of public safety prevail due to lack of recognized structure.

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