Madagascar's main opposition leader
Andry Rajoelina is urging his supporters to take over government ministries
today (Thursday) after his previous attempts were foiled by government security
agents. But Rajoelina, who has already named a parallel transitional
government, has vowed to wrest control of the country from President Marc
Ravalomana's government. Meanwhile negotiations under the auspices of the
Malagasy clergy have failed to resolve the ongoing political crisis, which some
say is undermining the country's booming tourism industry. Hadra Ratsimbazafy is
a Malagasy journalist. He tells reporter Peter Clottey that there seem to be
two competing centers of power between the opposition leader and President
today (Thursday) at nine o'clock the mayor and his transitional team will try
to take over the various ministries and to put in place the transitional
government and also to put in place the ministers that the opposition leader
had named. The opposition had been trying that since Monday, but they didn't
succeed because the army was there, which prevented them from entering the
ministries compound," Ratsimbazafy pointed out.
said there are ongoing negotiations between the opposition and the military to
end the political impasse.
three days now there have been negotiations between the army and the
transitional government, but there were no positive results. Fortunately, now
there is violence despite the massive protests although many people are not
sure about when the ongoing political crisis would end," he said.
opposition leader is also calling on the wives and children of the military to
be part of today's takeover saying it would prevent the security agents from
gunning down protesters.
said the opposition's call for military families to participate in today's
protest is to ensure the safety of ordinary civilians.
wives and children of the military have pledged their support for the protest
saying they are with the people. So the military families said that to prevent
the military from killing ordinary people they would be part of the protest
today so if unfortunately the military begin killing people there is a
possibility that their families would also be killed. So, this is another
strategy of the opposition leader Andry Rajoelina and the transitional
government to prevent the army from killing people," Ratsimbazafy noted.
said ongoing negotiations between the government and the opposition have failed
to yield any positive results.
Monday, the opposition and the government have been holding talks with the
Council of Malagasy Christian Churches but there were no results. So, now the
army has decided to take up its responsibility to ensure that there is peace
and security in Madagascar," he said.
said the Council of Malagasy Christian Churches, which organized the peace
negotiations between the government and the opposition has been quiet about
divulging any information to the public.
didn't say anything to the public and kept everything secret although the journalists
were asking more questions to find out what was going on. The only thing they
said was that the dialogue will continue and hope that things will get better
in Madagascar," Ratsimbazafy pointed out.
Some political analysts say the ongoing political crisis has left
the once-booming tourism industry facing ruin as tour operators turn their
backs on what many described as the Indian Ocean's paradise.
Several hotels in the
capital, Antananarivo are reportedly empty after anti-government protests
erupted last month, leaving around 100 people dead, after the city's sacked
mayor accused President Marc Ravalomanana of starving his people.
Antananarivo's deposed mayor
Andry Rajoelina, has declared himself in charge of the country's affairs, named
a parallel government and organized sit-ins in an attempt to install his
ministerial appointees. He has vowed to continue the protest until embattled
President Ravalomanana resigns. But the president has vowed to remain in power
until his constitutional mandate ends in 2011.