Ratsiraka, the sequel?

I am still reeling from all the events of yesterday, I can hardly believe that such a travesty of democracy could happen so quickly. Almost everyone I know has been upset over the events since January 26th, and are fuming about the results of this struggle. What this coup represents is a serious step backwards for Madagascar, or at least freedom in Madagascar and potentially some trouble for it’s future. There are a great deal of things that I want to get out into the air, but I want to try not to write the novels that I seem to be writing on this blog… so I am going to attempt to keep this brief. Oh, by the way, I have updated the crisis timeline (except for the events of this morning), videos and a few pictures if you want to take a peek.

Anyway, the thing that bothers me the most about this coup is the fact that nearly 100% of their “progress” (if that’s what you want to call it that) for the TGV has come from lies/propaganda, threats and use of force (ie. threats to news papers, web sites, pirating radio/tv and forced resignations). The methods used by the TGV to obtain power were illegal which makes the fight was unfair from the very beginning. You cannot compete fairly with someone that is not afraid to use any means necessary, legal or not, to obtain power. And now today it appears that the High Constitutional Court (HCC) has accepted him as the president… gee… I wonder why that would be (was there even a choice?). There ABSOLUTELY has to be repercussions for what happened to the government of Madagascar, and hopefully the international community will start that. But this is just the tip of the iceburg…

Now you are going to see people come out of the woodwork, now that their puppet (or scapegoat) has taken control of the country. I don’t have any hard facts,  I am just speculating (but it is not too big of a stretch) that you are probably going to see an interesting “alternative” to Rajoelina eventually when it comes time to do the elections. How can a 34 year old DJ with approximately 1 year of political experience being mayor bring down a government without major help from someone else. People were advising him from the get go, and they had all the connections and money to get this job done, I bet it was an expensive project. I think there were basically 2 things that lead to the accelerated downfall of the Ravalomanana:

  1. 03/09/09 – The mutineering soldiers: How could such a young inexperienced person convince the military to join their side, especially considering what was being done was clearly wrong. Who could convince such a high ranking officer to turn his back on what is right and take sides in a political feud when they are supposed to be neutral? I am guessing it is someone that used to be a high ranking officer himself, or someone associated with him.
  2. 03/14/09 – Jaques Sylla: How do they convince the President of the National Assembly to switch sides? This really is the point at which the downfall was accelerated. How much money was spent? What was done behind the scenes? Obviously Sylla knows a lot about the inner workings of the government, so he is probably the reason it fell apart so quickly.

There are just far too many unanswered questions about how they were able to get this far this fast and I seriously don’t think that Rajoelina could have done this on his own without some serious connections. How on earth do we go from a cat and mouse game from January to the beginning of March to having the whole thing wrapped up in 8 days? It doesn’t make sense. Perhaps the Didier Ratsiraka broadcast on VIVA was a hint of who are behind the scenes and of what is to come.

The sick part of the news is that just a day after everything has been finalised he is going as if it is business as usual as if everything is OK. My entire family is very upset about this as are all our friends, the online community and probably many people in Madagascar, I don’t think anyone is ready to accept this or is even OK with it. He must be kidding himself if he thinks that he can just pretend things didn’t happen and start governing the country. He has yet to see the repercussions of such an anti-democratic take over from various international bodies and who can tell at this time whether people will just comply with this government or not. I hope to see:

  • Not a single country in the world recognise him as the president of the Madagascar
  • Sanctions against his government
  • Restrictions on donated/loaned money coming from the international community/world bank
  • An investigation into the TGV movement and their practices to punish any illegal activities undertaken by them.

There needs to be repercussions from this tragedy, not acceptance. We do not need to have another travesty by having the international community just agree with what has taken place and allow it to continue. I am waiting in anticipation of what is to come from the EU/AU/US/Canada… etc. Regarding the money, I am not saying that we cut of all money because we don’t want to make people suffer, but perhaps we have to do it through different means while this un-elected government is in place because I would not trust them with my money that’s for sure.

And finally… where is Marc Ravalomanana? The US embassy has emphatically stated that he is not there, so where is he? Can’t be at the Canadian Embassy (cuz there isn’t one)… I hope that he and whatever family was with him are safe. Part of me sometimes worries that he was captured at some point the same way the generals have been and he is being kept tucked away somewhere by the opposition. And what of TIKO? Classico? All the affordable brands of food that we have come to love? I must admit that I am selfishly mourning the loss of my Cocounut Yogurt…. But what kind of an impact is this going to have on the people? Will Rajoelina just march into the business, nationalise it and take control? I hope that Ravalomanana can get out of Madagascar and start talking with the various international bodies about what has transpired. It is a shame that he will most likely have to, at least for a time, live in exile the same way that Didier Ratsiraka has.

So… what’s next? A fourth republic? Massive overhall of the constitution? Didier Ratsiraka coming back to Tana for a visit? Who knows… but we will all be watching, hoping that someone will pay for what has been done to Madagascar.


4 Responses

  1. For the first time, in a Reuters article, I saw it stated that Ratsiraka’s people are supporting TGV and this coup, and that France had given its tacit support to this as well. Both of these stories should be pursued. One of Ratsiraka’s former prime ministers was quoted in the article.


    I wish my French was good enough to post to French-language sites. If enough people post, a reporter might start to look into these questions.

    lexpress.fr is also following the crisis.

  2. I thought that was a very interesting article when I read it this morning. Here you have someone who comes out and says he was supporting Rajoelina, that they had a deal and that if there are any movement to elections that the exiled politicians from 2002 be a part of it. Then on the other hand, he is calling it an insurrectional government and states that TGV is an amateur for stating that elections will be held within 24 months, and even questioning the reasons why he is waiting so long. There are going to be a lot of interesting revelations I imagine, but I am hoping that we see some investigation and some justice done for the methods they used to steal power.

  3. Hi TGoose. You just expressed the overall sentiment of the Malagasies. And I think I am not exaggerating for having talked with many friends and family back home. Unfortunately, people are terrorized by this illegal government that they deliberately vacate to their daily activities and are quiet about the situation. No open discussion about the whereabouts of the president … for fear of prosecution … and mostly for fear of knowing the truth, especially if the worst happened to ravalomanana and his aides. Of course, there is little chance for ravalomanana to come back to power; but it is the really the future of the country that is at stake now. We all know about the French tragic history with Madagascar. I personally don’t see the Independence Day, especially June 26, 2009 with the same eye anymore. May be I am still shocked by it all, but my resentment of France in Madagascar has grown ten fold now. I say, my ancestors must have felt the same way I do today, when France invaded and colonized my Tanindrazana more than 100 years ago. It’s worse than the socalled daewoo land deal … this is even bigger … and real! We all know that the country is now in the hands of thugs that did not hesitate to publicly kill and torture. I complain my fellow Malagasy, but there’s hope … there is still a God!

  4. Thanks for the comment Ragasy. Almost everyone I know was upset and disappointed when hearing about Ravalomanana being forced from office. From the length of time that I have been following the TGV movement, I have heard over the internet, first hand accounts and from family/friends that everyone is scared to say anything about politics, not knowing who could be a TGV supporter (or thug as some have said). There is probably a huge amount of Malagasy that are afraid to say anything and hope just to get by in their daily life. I hope that the international community is going to put a lot of pressure on this government and we see elections in 2 – 6 months rather than 2 years, but with what I have recently heard and haven’t updated yet was that there are a lot of TGV supporters are trying to take control of various cities the same way as their leader has. We will see, hopefully whatever it is does not cause any more problems for the people.

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