What a great day! I did not see this coming, and I think most of the bloggers were starting to wonder why Ravalomanana was so quiet. I guess we know now!
So at the end of the day yesterday TGV was celebrating the capture of 4 ministries and had many photo ops of their ministers sitting in their new positions. I was sitting here wondering what the heck the government would do to respond to TGV breaking the law by occupying the offices of elected officials. Then Bam! In the dead of night they swoop in like a band of ninjas and take all 4 ministries and arrest 50 opposition supporters in the process.
Finally some arrests! I guess there might have been a matter of timing, but we needed to start showing people that they just can’t get away with what they are doing, especially when it is blatantly illegal.
But of course, this action does not go without any response. Apparently, since they are probably stumbling to explain to their followers how their most recent success disappeared in the blink of an eye TGV is stating that 8 people have died. There has been no proof of this as yet… but if their control of 80% of the army is any indication of how truthful their information is (especially since it was the army that took back the 4 ministries), then this will most likely end up being yet another hoax to infuriate it’s followers into performing some sort of action. We do however have statements coming from both sides conflicting with each other so it would appear that we are having a competition to get the word out. You can read the release from the gendarmerie here (A translated version is below).
I am hoping that now that the government has shown that it alone controls the ministries that it will now keep the media pumping out truthful information to counter all the misinformation that TGV is putting out. It would be great if this shattered the support base of the TGV, especially since they were very quick to come up with the deaths 0f 8 people for their short rally today. But as hopeful as I am I know that there will be another counterstrike by TGV and his followers will show up again and again, day after day no matter what they see.
The problem is that TGV is running out of room to manoever, so every subsequent thing they try to do is going to get increasingly more desperate. AndryDago, has recently blogged that they intend to march on “a place where Marc Ravalomanana is”. Here is a excerpt directly from his blog:
“Today during the speech of Andry “TGV” Rajoelina in the place of May 13th, he declared that there will be another march for tomorrow. He said that the destination will be a “place where Marc Ravalomanana is”. He then added: “bring foods and water, the walk will be tiring! It will be far!”
Everyone guessed that he talked about the presidential palace of Iavoloha (in the southern part of Antananarivo)
He also said that tonight he will meet some generals from the Army.”
So does this mean that they want to take control of the presidential residence? Or force some kind of confrontation between the two leaders? I can’t see straight off the bat what the benefit would be to marching to the residence of Marc Ravalomanana (that I am sure will be heavily guarded tomorrow). He is also supposed to be talking with the military this afternoon, about what, I don’t know. But the military has already made it clear that it will not choose sides, so I don’t think TGV gains anything by this but PR.
What I think it is going to come down to in the near future is that TGV is going to break down and re-enter talks, which would be a good thing. The only bad thing about it is that the talks could lead to some sort of power-sharing deal that I do not think that Andry TGV deserves in the slightest. But if anything ends the political crisis that is happening there now, I am game… I just hope it is just some relatively small position in the government not enough to seriously cause a disruption in its governance.
We shall see how tomorrow plays out. I have updated my links pages with the news reports that I could find.