The embattled mayor of Madagascar's
capital Antananarivo is expected to meet with residents of some provinces today
ahead of unveiling what he describes as a transition government to take over
from President Marc Ravalomanana. This
follows Mayor Andry Rajoelina's petition to the constitutional court seeking
President Ravalomanana's removal from office. It was filed after he accused the
president of violating
the constitution and laws of the country. But the government rejected the
mayor's accusation and instead announced his removal yesterday after naming a
commission to run the city. Madagascan journalist Hadra Ratsimbazafy tells
reporter Peter Clottey that Madagascans are demanding an end to the feud
between the president and the mayor.
the mayor of Antananarivo decided to visit the other provinces. So today, he
will meet the population in some of the provinces, and while there he will meet
the population and sensitize them about problems in the country and about the
new government of transition. So today there wouldn't be a meeting in
Antananarivo. But the next meeting for the population here in Antananarivo
would be next Saturday,"
Rajoelina recently proclaimed himself in charge of
the Madagascar after accusing President Marc Ravalomanana and his government of
abandoning their duties towards the population. On Monday, he handed a petition
to the Constitutional Court seeking the president's removal. Ratsimbazafy said the
mayor rejects that he has been removed after the government set up a
presidential commission to manage the affairs of Antananarivo.
"There is no more a mayor of
Antananarivo, but instead of a mayor of Antananarivo, the government put in his
place, the president of a special delegation (president de la delegation
special). So the conflict continues and the mayor Andry Rajoelina didn't accept
that, and said he will also put in place another president of the special
delegation who would manage the city of Antananarivo. So maybe he (Rajoelina)
would set up his commission on Saturday," he said.
Ratsimbazafy said President
Ravalomanana has so far been quiet after the mayor petitioned the senate and
the parliament seeking his removal from office as president.
"He has not said anything on
television since yesterday, but he has put in place the president of the
delegation. That is, a special delegation for Antananarivo," Ratsimbazafy
He said majority of
Madagascans are demanding an immediate end to the feud between President
Ravalomanana and Mayor Rajoelina.
"The population is waiting
for the end of this conflict because it is hurting the Malagasy economy. And
they are hoping that the conflict ends quickly because there are problems with
the economy and about security. So the
population is demanding an end to the conflict," he said.
Ratsimbazafy said some
people believe that the mayor's petition to both the senate and parliament
seeking the removal of the president will not succeed.
"Since yesterday that the
petition was sent to them (senate and parliament), they have said nothing. So
they received the letter from the mayor and his demands to both the senate and
the national assembly and also, the Higher Court of the Constitution received
the letter. But they did not give an answer. The population is sure that they
will refuse the mayor's demand," Ratsimbazafy noted.
He said critics of the
president are demanding his resignation, although his supporters are urging him
to stay to serve his remaining years in office.
"The population is divided.
There are some who want that Marc Ravalomanana is always there, and then to
wait for the next election. And there is the other side who want him to move
out," he said.
constitutional attorneys say only the country's senate and parliament can
initiate an impeachment process. President Ravalomanana holds majorities in
both the senate and parliament and is expected to survive any impeachment
process tabled by Rajoelina.
political stalemate began in December after President Ravalomanana ordered a
closing of the private television and radio station owned by Mayor Rajoelina.
On several occasions, Rajoelina has called for the overthrow of a
Ravalomanana-led Madagascan government.