Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Crisis in Madagascar

By Michael J.W. Stickings

See, I told you The Reaction is one of North America's leading blogs on Madagascar. Here's another post to prove it.


Yesterday, it was being reported that President Marc Ravalomanana was "holed up" in one of his palaces, and prepared to die, while opposition leader Andry Rajoelina was leading a coup.

Well, Ravalomanana has resigned. Here's the latest:

Military leaders in Madagascar have conferred full powers on 34-year-old opposition leader Andry Rajoelina, hours after the president resigned.

The officials said they had rejected an invitation from President Marc Ravalomanana to take up power as a military directorate.

Mr Rajoelina earlier installed himself in the president's offices, seized on Monday by pro-opposition troops.

He announced a new constitution and elections within two years.

...[A]fter a day of confusion the military seems to have given clear backing to Mr Rajoelina, apparently resolving a long power struggle on the Indian Ocean island.

How amusing, in a way, that Ravalomanana tried to sell himself as the front man for military rule. So much for those elections that put him in power.

As for the really young new guy, well, time will tell. Elections and a new constitution within two years? We'll see. Given that the military clearly runs the show in Madagascar, there is good reason to be skeptical. Indeed, there is good reason to think that the current crisis may well turn into a civil war.

(Here are some photos.)

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  • Mr. Rajoelina is six years too young to be president, according to Madagascar's Constitution, and is taking the presidency without any form of popular vote; nevertheless, the Constitutional Court has endorsed him as national leader. Wow, that really instills confidence in law and order in Madagascar, which is now just one more dictatorship that is allowed to be a United Nations member.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:50 AM  

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