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Military Governor of Madagascar's Capital Quits - 2002-03-28

The military governor of Madascar's capital, Antananarivo, has resigned, saying the power struggle in the island nation is beyond his power to solve.

General Leon Claude Raveloarison announced his resignation late Wednesday, but said his decision does not favor either incumbent President Didier Ratsiraka or his rival, opposition leader Marc Ravalomanana. President Ratsiraka had appointed the general to implement martial law in the nation's capital after Mr. Ravalomanana proclaimed himself president last month.

Observers say the martial law declaration had little effect on the capital or on the momentum of Mr. Ravalomanana's opposition movement. The opposition party controls the capital, while Mr. Ratsiraka has moved his government to the port city of Toamasina.

A dispute over the results of December's presidential election has escalated into a bitter power struggle. Mr. Ravalomanana maintains that he won the election outright and has refused to take part in a runoff. At least three people were killed and 30 others injured Tuesday in clashes between security forces and opposition supporters in the town of Fianarantsoa.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.