Self-Proclamation Does Not Equate To Legitimate Power

Update – Just as I thought, Ravalomanana called Rajoelina’s bluff, and he has flat out rejected the democratic way of giving the people want.  And again he states that “the people” have already spoken… really? You gave all of Madagascar to speak of what they want? Then he goes on to say in a ridiculous statement that he has 50 million (or billion not sure, but does it matter?) USD from foreign investors. Is that supposed to calm people?

Madagascar will be shunned by the international community if he ever takes power, I don’t know if he realizes it yet, but he doesn’t want to put himself in the kind of position where he has to explain why the people are suffering, especially because it is a direct result of his actions. “The People” will be furious with him in the coming days/months of decline if he does manage to “steal” power, because without the foreign investment and assistance Madagascar is in trouble and there will be no way out but to have a referendum. Marc has got you, you just don’t know it yet Andry.

Here is a quote from Ravalomanana via TopMada.com: “On Monday council of ministers, the Government confirmed the holding of the referendum to be held by an Independent Electoral Commission with the assistance of the international community and the United Nations. I will only stay in power if the people want,” said the president. “The people should not be bernée” he added referring to an opposition that wants to grab power “through the street.” The referendum is “the most democratic way possible (…) that’s the true democracy”.

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Watching the crisis over the last few days has been very frustrating would you say? There has been a lot of information to digest, but none of it is good (or so it appears, because we never can trust what we read or hear from there anymore). So I am going to use this blog post as a place to vent out all of my frustrations… here is my list:

  • Jacques Sylla showing up at May 13th and also stating that Andry Rajoelina is now the new president of the republic.
  • That we have heard nothing but misinformation from TGV and rarely anything from TIM, is there a media bias?
  • The TGV just stating de facto that the current government is not capable of running and therefore they are now governing.
  • That the TGV are constantly lying to people and misinforming everyone of the news to manipulate the public behaviour.
  • That TGV took out any non-TGV source of news by hijacking TVM and RNM.
  • That it has come to having an early election and that I have no faith in the elections being fair if they did take place.
  • That Andry Rajoelina can make up an imaginary title “High Authority of Transition” or HAT, and pretend like it is legitimate in allowing him to control the country. But also the fact that he promises elections within two years… probably just after he has time to change the constitution.

That is quite a list isn’t it? It’s not in any particular order other than how they came to mind. But lets start from the top:

Jacques Sylla

I wonder why he has come out of the woodwork (maybe he has been out of the woodwork for longer than I know, but still). He resigned as prime minister of Madagascar after Ravalomanana’s first term had ended around January 2007. Then he gets elected as president of the national assembly and is “associated” with the TIM party, though I don’t think it was by choice.

So why is he there all of the sudden? Was there some sort of fall out that caused the resignation? Is he just appearing because he thinks that he will end up on the winning side? Or is it because there was a very sweet back room offer for him to come out and tip the scales on perception of the government?

I guess, really, I don’t care why. I just detest the fact that he just comes right out and stated that Andry Rajoelina is the president of the republic “tsy misy vahaolana ankoatra ny fialan’ny filoha’ny repoblika”.  And also the fact that all of the TGV camp are stating that the government is now incapable of running with quotes such as this: “There is only one solution, the resignation of the head of state,” said Jacques Sylla. “As president of the national assembly, I have to recognize reality.” When did this reality happen? When you were brainwashed?

Media Bias

Now, this one here is my own perception of things and my opinion, but I know that there is a lot of people out there that agree with me. Lets start it of with a statement, where the hell is media coverage of the president! I have been going through article after article, video after video and at best, I hear a reference to the president. But most of the time I see that various publications are having phone interviews with Andry Rajoelina and various side-kicks. Most articles I have read seem to paint the president as finished in a broad sort of way, or if Ravalomanana is having a good day that he is doing something wrong. There is only one place where I have found information on the president (aside from his own website)… and that is by Malagasy person that uploads videos/audio to the net. You can find him/her (not sure which) at http://www.dailymotion.com/webmalagasy most of them are in Malagasy. Most of the media are great though, I have to give them that, I would just like more coverage of the “other” side of the story instead of tending towards Andry Rajoelina (I don’t blame them if they couldn’t get in touch obviously).

Self declaring government

I can’t really put my finger on why people would not be upset about the TGV just breaking into buildings, declaring (in their humble opinion) that the government cannot function and then stating that they are in control.  Here is a translated quote from Monja “The National Assembly, the Senate and the Government are currently unable to normally perform the functions which are reserved for him by the Constitution and which they are largely disputed by the whole of the population which does not recognize any more any legitimacy to them” Are they mad? Have they checked with the whole population? Sometimes in my head I relate this to a cartoon… maybe like Pinky and the Brain, where he is out for world domination and he is using some sort of mind control device that has people mindlessly following every move/command he makes. What could possibly make these people think that just saying and doing these things, now and all along makes them legitimate? Have people forgotten about elections and what they are for? Or that there are other people in Madagascar that may want a say in this? The TGV are like a gang, extorting and threatening their way to the top… and if that is the government you end up with it would be sad. I wanted to say that everyone will get their cummupins, but I thought that wouldn’t be fair considering that they will only end up being more miserable because of their non-elected government.

Lying, Threatening and Violence

I eluded to this above… and as I mentioned, the TGV are behaving like some sort of street gang, it’s like they control the streets (they probably do). They have and continue to do a lot of shady things, but I think the worst of it is just the general feeling that you have to watch everything you say when you go out to do your daily business, that you are not safe. I have read about it and have had it confirmed by my own family who had to run into a building to avoid being in the path of oncoming supporters. It is almost like Andry Rajoelina is a godfather type of gangster character, and some of his supporters are like the thugs that go out and break your leg if you didn’t pay back that loan you got from them.

Then there’s the lies and misinformation that people are constantly inundated with, it has obviously had a huge impact on the outcome of this coup. Yup, that’s right… coup. One of the things that is consistent with them is how they are always telling their supporters that everything they are doing is “for the people”. Was incitining them to loot, burn, pillage “for the people”? Prices have gone up like crazy as a result and there are fewer stores to buy from now. Was telling them that the presidential palace was “the people’s palace” for them as well? It is like one of those very annoying tag lines you see on a commercial or something that drives you mad… and what is more maddening is that it works. People are doing things they wouldn’t normally do because somehow he is empowering them with this nonsense. There are more “people” than just your crowd Andry Rajoelina… I bet you are going to break the constitution “for the people” too.

Taking control of other media

This is just a very unhappy end to the above point, now the poor Malagasy people have nothing to watch or listen to because it is all controlled by TGV. TGV hijacked TVM and RNM and are now broadcasting their propaganda over their airwaves as well. It has been confirmed that at least TVM is clearly biased towards TVM… but you would think they both would be if they were just taken over. I absolutely despise their strategy,  but unfortunately it is turning out to be effective both for programming their supporters, but also for excuses to do things… kinda like the excuse “weapons of mass destruction”.

The referendum

I think this is smart, but sad at the same time. Smart because this could possibly expose TGV for what it really is, a criminal organization (because if you send people to die, loot, break into government buildings, steal radio and TV networks and threaten newspapers… shouldn’t you be called a criminal organization?). It is a trap basically because it will do three things:

  1. Will provide for a democratic means of solving the problem. If  the people (meaning all people everywhere in Madagascar, not just Antananarivo) want TGV, then they will get them. At least someone is doing something “for the people” right?
  2. Because Andry Rajoelina is not 40, he cannot possibly be elected, someone else will have to be. It would be against the constitution to elect Andry Rajoelina… he could not participate.
  3. Shows a willingness of the incumbent government to go to a democratic method of resolving the crisis. This will obviously come with International support so denying this process would seriously affect TGV (not that it wouldn’t already).

I suspect that Andry Rajoelina will never agree to this because of #2 and will want to continue to push for Ravalomanana’s resignation… he is more likely to find a way to take Ravalomanana out than to agree to lose his nice little HAT position. But even if there were elections, who really thinks that they would be free of tampering? TGV would go out of their way to either threaten or coerce people to vote for them, or just plain cheat. And… to top it all off… even if Ravalomanana was elected a 3rd time, they would contest the results, saying they are invalid and would call for a rally because the vote was rigged. I truly believe they want to get to power just by walking into the government building and stating they are the government. And with people like that, who knows what would happen to the constitution and the country.

HAT

And if we didn’t go to a referendum and somehow Andry Rajoelina became the HAT of the country (as if that is supposed to = president)? He is basically violating the constitution by being in power, and who here believes that he would call an election in 2 years, raise you hand! I don’t… I think the first order of business would be to change the constitution to allow for him to be there. Either that, or he would make some excuses to postpone the elections, probably something to do with money and people being poor… why not? It has worked well for him up to this point right?

OK… I do have to sleep, and I am approaching 2000 words, but hey, I have WAY too much to say.

Anyway… let’s hope that nothing violent happens tomorrow and that we all just head into another election over there. OK, who am I kidding… I don’t even believe that. I am sure something bad will happen tomorrow, I don’t have any faith at all that TGV will ever accept a referendum, so they will have to approach the president in another way.

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