Andry’s legal conundrum

Wow, what a dry day. I suppose that is a good thing, the less disruption the better.

There were some very good comments from AndryDago (the cyber observer/lawyer in Madagascar) regarding the political process of impeaching a president (quoted – list of comments can be found here: http://andrydago.wordpress.com/2009/02/04/new-pds-against-new-mayor/#comments):

Step I: deposit of an “impeachment request” before the National Assembly. The National Assembly will study the request during its ordinary general assembly and will decide at a 2/3 of the majority of its members if the president has to be indicted.

Step II: after the indictment from the National Assembly, the impeachment request has to be transferred to the Senate. The Senate will study the request during its ordinary general assembly and will decide at a 2/3 of the majority of its members if the president has to be indicted.

Step III: after the indictment from the Senate, the impeachment request has to be transferred to the HCJ (High Court of Justice). The HCJ will study the case and will find if the president has made several and repeated constitutionnal violations during its mandate. The HCJ will issue a decision which will order the president to step down.

Step IV: after the decision from the HCJ, the HCC (High Constitutionnal Court) will observe the vacancy of the presidency and will order new presidential elections.

I sincerely do not know if it will take a long time or not.

The HCJ is not yet set up in Madagascar.

Now… after I read that I found another interesting news story here: http://www.voanews.com/english/Africa/2009-02-04-voa1.cfm. Here is the paragraph that is interesting (since I am not that familiar with Malagasy political parties and who has majorities/minorities):

“Some constitutional attorneys say only the country’s senate and parliament can initiate an impeachment process. President Ravalomanana holds majorities in both the senate and parliament and is expected to survive any impeachment process tabled by Rajoelina.”

As you can see above from AndryDago’s comments that it has to go to the National Assembly and the Senate before it can be passed to the High Court of Justice. According the article, Ravalomana has majorities in both the Senate and Parliament.

So… if this is the case, how would Andry Rajoelina EVER impeach the president? Why would he go forward with a revolution with the intent of impeaching him when there is little to no chance that the impeachment would go through? Why would he attempt a coup knowing full well that it would be frowned upon by international communities and especially by the African Union, the land of dictatorships and military coups?

The more information that I get on this crisis, the more I am starting to see that Andry clearly did not think this through. It almost looks as if he has hinged all of his hopes of being president on the success of the general strike he announced when he declared he was running the country. Now that he has changed his tune and is going to try and do this “legally”, he doesn’t have a chance of becoming president no matter how hard he pushes.

This presents 2 possible outcomes for the end of this revolution (which depends on the events of this coming Saturday):

  1. The crisis slowly fades away into history – If he does not have support, and cannot possibly win “legally”  that then puts a nail into the coffin of the revolution. He may make announcements, appointments and deceive his supporters saying that everything is going well, but people will grow tired of this and the TGV revolution fades away.
  2. Andry somehow has “major” support – I am not a big believer in this one, but that’s not to say that it couldn’t happen. The country is rife with rumours that Andry’s revolution is heavily tied to Ratsiraka and his party. You have Rolland Ratsiraka crossing the country organizing political walks and spreading agenda, and I believe that I read (not necessarily fact here) that Rolland might be announced as part of Andry’s new government.  I would assume that there was a lot of support for Ratsiraka when he was president, and I would presume that those supporters would be loyal even now. So the question really is, how many supporters are left? I am guessing that on Saturday Andry will show us just how many there are, and I am hoping that there are not that many “military” type of supporters. If there is no “legal” way to pursue this, then the only other way to do it is with force… and I am really hoping that there is no force behind Andry. I guess we will see this weekend… I am a firm believer think if Andry makes enough progress you are going to see Didier Ratsiraka back in Madagascar and touring with the TGV movement… or at the very least he will be back in Madagascar.

I am hoping for #1, I don’t think there could be that much of a force behind him. I just don’t believe now that he can proceed legally towards his goals, there is only one direction left and I don’t want to see it. Let’s all hope it fizzles out.

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