A lot of us have probably been sitting on the edge of our collective seats waiting for what would happen around the world regarding how Andry Rajoelina’s government would be taken. Would the world just sit quiet and let it pass, or would it take action and collectively disapprove of how this TGV government achieved power. My worst fear was that the international community was going to be complancent about the whole thing and attempt to continue on normally as if nothing happened.
THANKFULLY, the AU/SADC do not recognize Andry Rajoelina or his government and called for the suspension of Madagascar from the SADC and AU as well as urging the international community not to recognize Andry Rajoelina. Zambia’s foreign affairs minister, Kabinga Pande stated “(It’s) a setback and danger to the entrenchment of democracy and constitutional rule on the continent which should not be allowed to take root,” he said in a statement in government newspapers.” There was also a comment from Tomaz Salmomao regarding the coup stating: “You are aware that the president of the republic resigned yesterday and he hand over the power to a military directory themselves also transferred the power to the former mayor of Antananavivo,” [said Mr. Salmomao.] “So in practical terms we have a military coup. In view of that and because Madagascar is a SADC member state, SADC has to take a position.”
The US was right behind the AU regarding the coup, State Department spokesman Robert Wood said “”We view this as undemocratic transfer of power” and that they were going to re-evaluate their aid to the country. The EU also refused to recognize Andry Rajoelina, “This was a coup d’etat, this was not a democratic election“ said Karel Schwarzenberg the Czech foreign minister on the first day of a two-day EU summit in Brussels. Norway was also quick to respond, I tweeted an article I found on 03/18/09 at a Norwegian blog stating that they are freezing all bilateral aid to Madagascar stating: “We are assessing the situation on an ongoing basis. Any takeover of power that is not in line with democratic rules will have consequences for Norwegian aid to Madagascar,” commented Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim.
It is really good to know that people are recognizing this so-called government for what it is, an illegitimate mob government, who achieved power using bribes, misinformation and force. This as a relief in the sense that people are recognizing the wrongs that Andry Rajoelina has committed against democracy. Speaking of democracy, I found a funny quote from Andry Rajoelina that he said to a crowd at May 13th square: “We will bring about the return to a normal life, to security and above all national reconciliation, which is at the heart of democracy.” The heart of democracy? Who is he to talk about the heart of democracy? It was just 2 days ago he had the army holding AK47s on his hostages to get them to transfer presidential power to him and was mistreating a high ranking member of the church. Incredible!
Almost everyone on the net and even in Madagascar has stated at one time or another that they think this whole crisis has been linked to France, especially since in 2002 Ravalomanana began to distance the country from them. So I have some points that I think might lead to a good conspiracy theory:
- As I mentioned above, France has been less than happy with the Ravalomanana government since it has been in power.
- Ratsiraka was found guilty of embezzling 8 Million USD of government money and was supposed to do 10 years “hard time”. But instead of the hard time, what is he doing? Living comfortably in France.
- During some of the initial negotiations there was a rumour (and I thought a clip, but I can’t find it) of the French representative calling Rajoelina “Mr. The President”. If it did happen, Was it a slip? Or was he confused?
- When times were getting tough for Andry Rajoelina and Ravalomanana was cracking down on protests, Rajoelina went into hiding. Where was it that he stayed safely tucked away from the authorities? The French Embassy.
- InJet and VIVA were created with financial backing from Pierrot Rajaonarivelo a former member of the Ratsiraka government. Pierrot was recently quoted having “a deal” with Rajoelina, though he did criticize him in the same article. Also Samuel Ralaidovy Arema’s National Coordinator is quoted saying “We commend the military for their efforts to liberate the country and we hope the new president of the transitional authority will focus on the plight of exiles and political prisoners.”
- France is the first country to meet with Andry Rajoelina, just 1 day after the HCC endorses him. Here is a clip from a report from xinhuanet news: Jean-Marc Chataigner, the first French ambassador to arrive to its former colony in the last seven months, paid a courtesy call to Rajoelina Thursday morning, during which they discussed the management of his transitional government as well as the strengthening of relationship between the two countries. Just a day? And you are already talking about “strengthening” the relationship?
- France has not provided a stance on the outcome of the political turmoil while most of the world are rejecting Andry Rajoelina’s government.
- Who is this mystery country that Andry Rajoelina has secured 50 million dollars in funding? Any ideas?
I thought it might be fun to outline how odd France’s behaviour seems to have been throughout the crisis and especially towards the end. Smells like a little bit of France with a touch of exiled Arema politicians don’t you think? And who else could have orchestrated and funded such a coup? Especially one that looks very similar to what Ravalomanana had to do in 2002 because of the outcome of the elections, the dates and the methods just make it look like this is revenge.
Well… that’s enough from the conspiracy portion of my mind, and now onto something that I am wondering about, especially in light of the fact that Andry Rajoelina states that he is going to bring prices down. What is going to happen to Marc Ravalomanana’s businesses? Before Ravalomanana was president he already owned most of the business (if not all), so is the TGV government going to take them and nationalize them? Will he let them continue to run as they are (if they are even running)? What will people do without TIKO? As far as I knew that was the most affordable variety food products available to the malagasy people. I know I enjoyed the yoghurt, milk, juice, soda, and it was priced well vs. the imports. How is Andry Rajoelina going to keep prices down if this brand is gone? If they are gone, then I suspect there will a lot more imports and less local brands which to me, doesn’t translate into lower prices.
I think that Andry Rajoelina has bitten off a bit more than he can chew, and it will only be a matter of time before “the people”, as he so enthusiastically calls them, will realize how he has pulled the wool over their eyes. And considering how tired “the people” are of the political turmoil and the high priced goods that resulted from it, he is going to have to start helping the poor a lot faster than he thinks. If what this political science professor says is true, then Ravalomanana was making good progress on helping the country which would have eventually translated into helping the poor. But since the political strife, it looks like the reset button has been pressed on the progress on Madagascar and if Andry sticks around, he will be unpopular in very short order.