Some Madagascar citizens are expressing
fear the country could be plunged into serious political turmoil after a court
Monday ruled as illegal the activities of a transitional government led by
former opposition leader Andry Rajoelina. The ruling energized supporters of
former President Marc Ravalomanana who despite a ban on demonstrations vowed to
begin fresh protests today until the government steps down. They are also
demanding the return of the former president who is in exile, saying he had two
more years to serve before being forced to hand over power to the military. The
handover paved the way for Rajoelina to take over power when the military threw
its support behind him.
Malagasy journalist Mialy Randriamampianina told VOA
that most people are confused about the political situation.
they (supporters of former president) have already said, they are going to
follow the movement (protesting) until Marc Ravalomanana, the former president, will be back in
Madagascar because for them, Marc Ravalomanana is still the president of
Madagascar. So what they want to do and what they tried to do starting from
last week is to enter into the place of democracy in order to make their rally.
The problem is that the military and the police under the orders of Andry
Rajoelina don't allow them to go there," Randriamampianina said.
said the clashes between the protesters and the security forces were a direct
result of the transitional government's refusal to allow them to express
is why most of every day there are some kinds of violence all around the town
because there are violence between the Marc Ravalomanana supporters and the
military," she said.
said supporters of the former president seem to have taken a cue from previous
opposition protests that forced Ravalomanana to resign.
the way they are doing the protests is really the same as what Andry
Rajoelina did before. And you know they want to criticize Andry Rajoelina by
forbidding them from protesting because according to them, they are just doing
what Andry Rajoelina did before, and they are following the same process. So
you know, it is quite ironic, but it is what is happening," Randriamampianina
said although the protesters are demanding the return to power of the former
president, it remains unclear when he will end his stay in exile.
haven't heard about that. All we know is that the former president is always
calling, saying that he is going to be back. But the problem is that nobody
knows when he is going to be back in Madagascar, and if he is going to be back,
what he is going to do? So we are waiting for what is going to happen," she
said there is a growing controversy after a court ruled as illegal the
activities of the Rajoelina led transitional government.
know, something that is quite important is that the constitutional court
of Madagascar has said again in a declaration today (Monday), saying that the
authority of the transition, held by Andry Rajoelina, is not following the
constitution. After the day when we called the coup d'état, when Marc
Ravalomanana resigned and gave the power to the military, and then after that,
when the military gave the power to Andry Rajoelina, the Constitution High Court
agreed and accepted this fact. But now they have changed their mind, and
according to them what has happened is not following the constitution. So we
don't know what is going to happen in the future days and maybe that is going
to create some change. We don't know," Randriamampianina said.
international community including the African Union condemned the take over as
a coup d'état.
agencies clashed Monday with supporters of former President Ravalomanana after a military crackdown on protestors last week left seven
demonstrators dead and a military personnel carrier was blown up over the weekend,
reportedly by Molotov cocktails.
weeks before President Ravalomanana's
forced resignation, Andry Rajoelina had only just emerged as the undisputed
opposition leader, and Ravalomanana's grip on power appeared under
little threat. But political analysts argue his impatience with civil
demonstrations cost him dearly.
After initially allowing partisans of the former president to vent their
disappointment via daily protests, the transitional government, led by former
opposition leader Andry Rajoelina, tightened the screws, banning rallies and
unleashing security forces on transgressors.
The new president, a
former disc jockey who became a successful businessman before winning the
mayoral race in the capital, Antananarivo, relied heavily on his private radio
and television network to mobilize support. He accused Ravalomanana of
dictatorship and of flouting the constitution after the president banned protests.