Deposed Antananarivo Mayor Andry
Rajoelina is expected to occupy the official administrative center of the
presidency Tuesday after ordering the arrest of President Marc Ravalomana. Some political analysts say the opposition
leader's move to take over the official presidential office could force the
president to resign with two more years left for his term to expire.
ordered the arrest of President Ravalomanana after some army troops seized the
presidential palace in the center of the capital, Antananarivo Monday evening.
The national army
which had previously declared itself neutral in the ongoing political crisis
between the president and the opposition leader backed the opposition leader
after refusing to take any more orders from the government. But the government
has dismissed the opposition's action as a coup d'état, which it said was
Monja Roindefo is the
opposition named prime minister. He tells reporter Peter Clottey that the
opposition leader Rajoelina is set to become Madagascar's next president
"So, today the President
(Rajoelina) will make his first step obviously to the presidential palace of
Ambuitoreta today to officialize the democratically step that we have advocated
up to now and to represent the transitional authority. So, although it is a
great day for us we are sad that after the seventh of February that a lot of
people were killed by Mr. Ravalomanana. The army has secured the presidential
palace to install the transitional authority," said Roindefo.
He denied the opposition's
move to forcibly take over power from the constitutionally elected president is
"Mr. Ravalomanana who has
killed hundreds of people in front of the world, he has performed that act and
with all the infringement he has committed against the constitution, he is the
one who has committed the illegal act. He did not violate the constitution one
or two times, but several times and there is lack of democracy and the lack of
the market law or the free market competition and the lack of freedom. So,
those people who are saying Ravalomanana has to be defended rather than the
people quest for democracy are those people who want to benefit from the
Malagasy wealth illegally with Ravalomanana," he said.
Roindefo accused the
embattled president of committing a crime after opposition protesters were shot
and killed while demanding the resignation of Ravalomanana in the capital,
"You know that we are living
in the year 2009 and I don't think any president has done what Ravalomanana has
done to kill his own people in cold blood. He has killed the peaceful
demonstrators on the seventh of February.
So for us, Ravalomanana is not the president of the Malagasy people
after he killed those people," Roindefo pointed out.
He said the opposition
intends to restore what he described as the diminished democratic tenets
orchestrated by Ravalomanana.
"What we are doing now is to
reinstate the democracy here in Madagascar. To restore the regulation and to
lay down the principles for a genuine democracy and a genuine development of
Madagascar," he said.
Roindefo said the embattled
Ravalomanana would be prosecuted after he is detained.
"It is not what I will be
doing to him and it is not what Rajoelina will be doing to him. He has
committed a crime against the nation, so it is up to the nation's court to judge
him. It is not up to me or Andry," Roindefo noted.
Meanwhile, the African Union Peace and Security has sharply
condemned the opposition's move to oust embattled President Ravalomana
describing it as a coup d'état. This shortly followed
opposition leader Andry Rajoelina's call for the immediate detention of the
constitutionally elected President Ravalomanana during a rally in the capital
Antananarivo late Monday.
The African body called on
all Malagasies to refrain from any hostility urging them to respect the
The European Union also
warned it would reject anybody who forcibly take over power in Madagascar and
said it would take the same steps it took after a military coup in Mauritania.
The EU froze development aid to the Mauritania when mutinous soldiers seized
power there after ousting the constitutionally elected president.
The opposition leader had
earlier rejected Ravalomanana's offer to hold a referendum to
solve the political stand-off which began in January and led to the loss of
lives and property, which began in January.
agree that opposition leader Rajoelina has tapped into widespread public discontent,
especially with high levels of poverty among many inhabitants who are said to
be fed up with the escalating political stalemate.