Deposed Antananarivo Mayor Andry
Ranjoelina has called on his supporters to begin another round of street
protest today (Thursday) after a break down in peace negotiations. This comes after
President Marc Ravalomanana failed to attend what would have been the fourth
round of peace talks to resolve Madagascar's political crisis. Malagasies are
expressing disappointment and blaming President Ravalomanana after his refusal
to attend the meeting which led the opposition leader to pull out of the talks.
The mediator of the talks, Archbishop Odon Razanakolona also stepped down
calling on the United Nations Secretary General to take up the role and help
resolve the crisis. Mialy Randriamampianina is a Malagasy journalist. She tells
reporter Peter Clottey many Malagasies feel let down by what they described as
the president's nonchalant attitude.
the opposition protests will restart after Andry Rajoelina asked the people and
asked his partisans to present at the protests for today. We don't know if the
meeting between the two leaders to resolve the crisis is going to take place
today because yesterday (Wednesday), Marc Ravalomanana was not present, and
that is why Andry Rajoelina will hold the protests again today. So, we don't
know if the meeting about the mediation is going to exist again," Randriamampianina
She said Malagasies are
faulting the president for the breakdown of the peace negotiations.
"Both of them (President
Ravalomanana and opposition leader Rajoelina) agreed to stop protests and
stopping any form of broadcasting on both radio and even television in order to
promote the peace mediation to find a solution to the political crisis. But
Marc Ravalomanana didn't really follow the rule of the talks because he refused
to be present at the meeting yesterday (Wednesday) and he didn't tell the opposition
that he will not be present," She said.
Randriamampianina said the
opposition was upset after the president abruptly refused to attend the peace
"The president visited other
regions of the country so the opposition delegation including the leader Andry
Rajoelina waited for the president for a long time and he failed to come. Some
of the president's aides said he would be available on Friday and that really
made the opposition party delegation very angry about the situation. And that
is why they decided to hold another round of protests today," Randriamampianina
She said some Malagasies are
demanding an explanation from the president for his failure to attend the
meeting aimed at resolving the political crisis.
"He didn't give any reason,
but we heard reports that he was in two regions of Madagascar and we are yet to
receive any information about why he failed to show up for the meeting. So,
that is why the leaders of the opposition took the decision to begin another
round of protests today," she said.
Malagasies are disappointed in the breakdown of the peace negotiations.
"Everybody was really
disappointed because everybody was hoping for a solution to the political
crisis. And they were really disappointed that there is a breakdown and that
made people feel really let down," Randriamampianina noted.
the opposition leader expressed displeasure at what he described as the
mediator's biased towards his opponent.
He said President Ravalomanana's absence from the meeting is tantamount
to the lack of respect for the Malagasy people.
Some Malagasies said the
peace talks had brought a degree of normality to the capital, Antananarivo,
fearing that the breakdown will possibly ignite violent protest, which would
plunge the country into chaos.
Earlier on Wednesday, Archbishop Odon Razanakolona who
acted as chief mediator at three rounds of talks stepped down and called on the
United Nations to come up with a way out of the impasse. But other church leaders
overseeing the negotiations said they would continue the mediation efforts.