Madagascar News- Current Issues and Perspectives

Dissension in Madagascar between Rajoelina and His PM

In Politics on September 30, 2009 at 6:24 pm

Some international media have been quick at spreading the news about Madagascar withdrawing from the SADC following the UN incident but locally signs of dissension are observed between Rajoelina and his Prime Minister, Monja Roindefo, while the population shows lassitude.

As usual, and as expected, the UN incident has prompted a diverse array of reactions from political parties and simple citizens. Five political parties that poorly performed during last elections demand that Madagascar withdraw itself from the SADC group and that the mediation group or International Contact Group (GIC) be denied entry in Madagascar, as published by Midi Madagascar and le Courrier de Madagascar.  These minor political parties, among them the MONIMA Roindefo’s party, have manifested their outrage, calling the UN incident an “”attempt to National Sovereingty”” and plan on organizing an anti-SADC and anti-GIC protest. The mediation team (GIC) is scheduled to meet in Antananarivo on October 6, 2009. As of today, one political party goes futher as to propose legislative elections for December 13, with the formation of a new transitional government, led by a consensually-nominated head of goverment.

According to Reuters, Roindefo, who is the HAT head of government, was to protest against  the UN. The claim is that Madagascar was not excluded from the UN yet and as such should have been entitled to speech delivery at the UN Assembly. UN News Centre reports that Assembly President Dr. Trekki had previously consulted with UN Secretariat legal officials who had confered that Rajoelina be allowed to speak pending UN Credentials Commission ruling, but ultimately decided to submit the issue to a vote. In conclusion, the majority of members who were present denied Rajoelina access to the podium. Audio files of the summit have been made available through  Tiako i Madagascar and  Ground Report.

There are signs of dissension between Rajoelina and his premier. As of September 29, Madagascar time, and while Rajoelina was still absent from the country, Roindefo announced that he demanded an explanation from opposing countries, among them India, Canada, and South Africa. The decision was made following a government meeting. According to the same source, continuing of negotiations would be subject to feed-back from concerned countries. Roindefo plans on denying visas to negotiating mediators who are scheduled to lead the GIC meeting on October 6 in Antananarivo, says Reuters.

There is no verification as to know if Rajoelina shares the same stance. In theory, under normal circumstances, such a meeting is led by the President. However, Rajoelina was not back in Madagascar yet. Indeed, while these decisions were made, Rajoelina was said to have been present at several meetings in Paris with Chissano, the leader of the mediation team,  former head of state Admiral Ratsiraka, and another major political party leader, Hasina Andriamanjato, according to the same source and Midi Madagascar . Nothing transpired from the meetings but it is  speculated to have been in preparation of the October 6 Antananarivo negotiation.

In fact, it is also speculated  that Rajoelina wants to return to the negotiating table, according to L’Express de Madagascar . The source says that this would provide Rajoelina with the opportunity to rid of his Prime Minister who seems to start weighing down on him, and who has been showing too much independence lately.

Complexity of political affairs in Madagascar can be mostly attributed to lack of information and lassitude and political disengagement of citizens, who at this time are more concerned by the disastrous economic situation, growing insecurity, and survival .

Breaking News: Rajoelina defends the SADC

October 1, 2009

Upon his return to Madagascar following the UN incident and Paris meetings, Rajoelina confirms speculations about his reversed position. Today, Rajoelina announces that the only way out is early elections. It is also fair to understand that Rajoelina disagrees with the anti-SADC nad anti-GIC initiatives. In fact, Madagascar Tribune reports that Rajoelina excuses the SADC. According to Rajoelina, it is not the SADC that is the source of the UN incident but a handful of leaders bribed by some powerful Malagasies.

Midi Madagascar anticipates that Rajoelina will have a choice to make between France and Roindefo within the next few days, as the Quai d’Orsay seems to have been the cause of Rajoelina’s change of position about elections.

In the meantime, VOA reports that Congo denies undermining Madagascar’s government. Rather, the question would be if it is not some Malagasy leaders who are undermining Madagascar’s principles and laws, continues the article, citing Lambert Mende, communications minister of Congo.

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