Supporters of deposed Madagascar
President Marc Ravalomanana are expected to hold a political rally today
(Wednesday) to know their next line of action after their leader resigned
Tuesday under opposition pressure. Some Malagasies fear the meeting could
potentially lead to clashes with supporters of the opposition in the ongoing
political crisis. President Ravalomanana handed over power to the military
Tuesday following a protracted political struggle with deposed Antananarivo
mayor Andry Rajoelina. But the military declined to accept the handover, saying
it was not interested in ruling the country setting the stage for the
opposition leader to take over power. The military had so far backed the
opposition leader during the power struggle. Mialy Randriamampianina is a
Malagasy journalist. She tells reporter Peter Clottey that Malagasies are
afraid of a possible civil war after the president resigned under pressure.
today, the partisans of the former President Marc Ravalomanana are going to be
having some kind of rally at the municipal stadium (called the Mahasima). We
heard on the radio station owned by the former President Marc Ravalomanana
calling on the population, all the partisans and all those who work for
Ravalomanana to be there at the rally grounds today," Randriamampianina noted.
said there seems to be great uncertainty about the need for the rally in
support of the deposed president, adding that most people fear there could be
clashes with supporters of the opposition leader.
is great confusion among the people because up to now we don't really have any
information about what the rally is going to be about and what they are going
to do. And again we are worried about trouble in terms of clashes between
supporters of Marc Ravalomanana and the supporters of Andry Rajoelina. There
was an event just over a week ago where there were some confrontations and
violence between the two camps. So, that kind of rally like that always create
trouble and we are worried about violence in this country," she said.
said the opposition leader rejected President Ravalomanana's decision to hand
over power to the military.
opposition said they totally disagree with the military taking over power and
the army also agreed with the opposition leader Andry Rajoelina,"
Randriamampianina pointed out.
said Malagasies are wondering about the whereabouts of deposed President
Ravalomanana although initial reports suggested the former president had sought
protection at the United States Embassy in the capital, Antananarivo.
really don't know where the former president is at the moment. But there were
some rumors that the American Embassy is doing its best to protect him. But the
ambassador of the United States denied the rumor. So right now we really don't
know where he (Ravalomanana) is," she said.
said although some people expressed joy at the president's resignation, others
worried the situation could get worse.
the first instance there were people who were really happy because Marc
Ravalomanana resigned which is such big news. But you know the military running
the affairs here is not really good for the country because we experienced 10
years ago, and so the people are worried about what might happen. People are
also worried about what is going to happen in the near future because of
confrontation between supporters of the former president and the opposition
leader and fear of a possible war especially civil war in this country,"
Despite concerns from
the international community that the opposition leader should have gone to the
ballot box, Andry Rajoelina appeared to have sufficient domestic support to
consolidate power. Supporters of Rajoelina, who began street protests since the
start of 2009 pressured the president into stepping down, immediately assumed
authority, marching into Ravalomanana's city-centre offices.
Meanwhile, some members of the military who are backing the
main opposition leader detained four military generals and one
Christian church leader following a meeting between the generals, Rajoelina and
the Christian Church leaders on Tuesday afternoon, in which the opposition was
informed of the president's decision to resign and hand over power to the
The arrest comes after a
reported quarrel between the pro-government generals, who announced President
Marc Ravalomanana's decision to hand over power to the military, and the
opposition supporters from the armed forces.
The African Union has been
urging all Malagasy parties to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety
of the deposed Marc Ravalomanana who resigned the presidency under pressure
from the opposition and the armed forces.
The African body also urged
the Malagasy parties to uphold the spirit of dialogue and compromise in order
to find a peaceful and consensual solution to the crisis, with the assistance
of representatives of the international community in Antananarivo.