Madagascar – Update

This is just a brief update about the situation in Madagascar. Recall that the former mayor of Antananarivo, Andry Rajoelina, had proclaimed himself president of the so-called ‘High Council of Transition’, that he had named a ‘prime minister’, Monja Roindefo, and that subsequently he named a ministerial team. The ‘ministers’ tried to occupy the ‘regular’ ministerial buildings at certain points last week, but without great success. Both Rajoelina and the actual president, Marc Ravalomanana, held rallies to demonstrate their support. Rajoelina was calling for nothing less than Ravalomanana’s resignation. Ravalomanana called upon the African Union to intervene on the basis of the logic that they would have to support the legally constituted president.

Anyway, both Ravalomanana and Rajoelina have now met on three occasions, although each meeting seems to have lasted only one hour according to The churches are facilitating the dialogue between the two parties.

From reading the newspapers, there is at least some sense that an agreement between the two parties is being discussed. This seems to be centred on some sort of power-sharing arrangement. According to Madagascar Tribune, the question of the prime minister and senior ministers is one of the main issues at stake in the negotiations. Also, they report that the idea of a transitional authority has taken root. This has happened before in Madagascar – in 1991, most notably, during the transition to democracy. L’Express de Madagascar suggests that the idea of a National Convention is also taking hold.

Although Rajoelina has clearly shown that he has a lot of support in the capital and while he is clearly impatient for change (he is nicknamed TGV), there is the question of whether the democratically elected president will accept to share power.

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