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Malagasies Are Fed Up with Politicians, Says Resident

Some Malagasies are expressing worry the government is incapable of resolving the ongoing political crisis, despite its high approval rating by the Southern African Development Community (SADC). After holding a five day consultation with Antananarivo, a six-man delegation from the regional body said they were satisfied with President Andry Rajoelina's High Transitional Authority's (HTA) efforts to establish peace and democracy. SADC also expressed willingness to lend a helping hand to the transitional government in restoring constitutional order ahead of the election.

Patricia Rajeriarison is a resident of the capital, Antananarivo. She told VOA that Malagasies seem to be fed up with politicians.

"First of all people are tired of the whole situation because it is still very unsafe, uncertain and there is total lack of visibility," Rajeriarison said.

She said some Malagasies seem to have lost faith in both the president and the former president.

"And I guess they are not happy with (former president) Ravalomanana because finally he is the cause of all the situation because he managed the crisis so badly. And they are not happy with Rajoelina because he has said so many things, and finally concretely there is nothing happening except that the prices are growing high, the currency is depreciating," she said.

Rajeriarison said President Rajoelina has so far not been able to live up to his promises.

"He announced that rice would be for free to the people, but then this is only temporary. And they (Malagasies) all know that the rice has been taken from Ravalomanana's company and they still sell it at a very low price. But they don't take into account the fact that they also don't allow the local rice producer to sell their own rice because they cannot compete with that rice," Rajeriarison said.

She said there are indications that President Rajoelina's recent actions are reminiscent of the former president.

"For the time being he is just behaving like Ravalomanana behaved before. He does not allow the opposition to express itself, he has closed opposition radio stations and there is the military repression. So people say that it is as if it is the same behavior but it is a different person. So it is very strange and they say it is only copy and paste and that he (Rajoelina) is doing exactly the same mistakes that Ravalomanana did," she said.

Rajeriarison said some Malagasies have lost faith in politicians.

"I guess it is a question of confidence. People are so tired of politicians and the way they behave and they don't trust them anymore. So, I guess they have to do more than just saying things," Rajeriarison said.

She said there seem to be an uneasy calm that has returned to the capital after protesters of former President Ravalomanana clashed with security agents.

"It has been very quiet for the last three days and somewhere you know that it is not going to last because things remain unsettled. So what is still strange to cope with is this waiting and we don't know what to expect because you know well that this is not the final settlement and that is the general feeling," she said.

Rajeriarison said the exact location of the former president, now in exile, is unclear.

"We know that he is in Southern Africa probably in South Africa, but I think he is in Ethiopia in some meeting. That is what has been announced today," Rajeriarison said.

Meanwhile, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) maintains it does not have any intention of sending armed troops to Madagascar to help former President Marc Ravalomanana to return home.