Return of the ex-presidents

Don’t you find it amazing that a crisis that had initially started out with only 2 parties, TIM and TGV now has four? How did this happen?

I am not sure for how long, but the AU and UN have been holding talks between envoys of Andry Rajoelina and Marc Ravalomanana to try and discuss a possible end to the crisis. This makes sense, though judging from the previous rounds of talks between Andry Rajoelina and Marc Ravalomanana this will most likely be an exercise in futility. But what doesn’t make sense is why we now have Albert Zafy and envoys for Didier Ratsiraka at the table. I thought this discussion was for a possible end to the crisis in Madagascar? How exactly does introducing new parties into the negotiations help matters? Well, it doesn’t… some might say that they are their because they will form some sort of other “transitional government”, which is probably true to an extent, but I highly doubt that they have even gotten that far in the talks so it is irrelevant. How can you hope to discuss peace and establish conditions for crisis resolution when you have 2 other people adding to the complexity of the talks with their own conditions and agendas?

Well, you can’t… because it doesn’t make sense. How can you trust this dialog will  go anywhere when you are trying to negotiate with 3 opposing parties? How did they even become involved in these talks? You might want to point a finger at both Andry Rajoelina and the UN envoy that is conducting the talks. There is an article here that points out that the UN envoy may not be trustworthy as he has already assisted Andry Rajoelina by providing him with sanctuary when he was to be arrested. But it also appears that the envoy of the AU could be a problem as well as he is married to a Malagasy woman close to the family of Pascal Rakotomavo, former Prime Minister of Ratsiraka and supporter Andry Rajoelina.

If this information has any credibility, it could mean that the UN and AU envoys are in the pocket of Andry Rajoelina or Didier Ratsiraka in which case all is lost. Especially since the envoy for Marc Ravalomanana have left discussions because  “it was a dialogue of the deaf”. This seems to be a very clever way to do one of three things:

  1. Provide more legitimacy for Andry Rajoelina.
  2. Provide talks of a new transitional government with all remaining parties and re-introduce one of the two ex-presidents as interim President.
  3. Discredit Marc Ravalomanana in front of the international community for walking out on negotiations.

If these parties are taking part in transparent/independent  “democratic negotiations”, despite the fact that all parties involved could possibly be corrupt (a fact that most people wouldn’t know anyway), then everyone will look as though they are striving towards a common democratic goal… everyone except Marc Ravalomanana. If we go back a bit on some theories that I share with a lot of people regarding Andry Rajoelina being a puppet of Didier Ratsiraka then you can see the makings of a very clever, but dirty underhanded plan (or conspiracy theory). Andry Rajoelina’s government has never gained recognition outside of Madagascar, so it is essentially illegal. His government has been going out of its way to free “political” prisoners, freeing up the return of the AREMA party and they have been systematically replacing people in high positions and repressing any dissent. So… if they were to work towards a “transitional government” or even a permanent one, what better way to do it than through the use of a temporary illegal one? Since it is only temporary it can force people to do what they want initially and pave the way for another more permanent government and since it is illegal it has to be replaced. Now that Marc Ravalomanana’s envoy has left the discussion I have no doubts in my mind that all the remaining parties will continue to talk and will eventually come to an agreement. Then, I would say that it is “mission accomplished” for whomever is behind all of this because now they have taken away any possibility of external assistance from Marc Ravalomanana because the solution was born of the UN/AU and political parties. Then you will either have the HAT stay on as “transitional government” or have Albert Zafy lead a new transitional government. And finally you will see an election where you will have Albert Zafy (possibly) and either Didier Ratsiraka or Pierrot Rajaonarivelo among others running for president with Marc Ravalomanana remaining an outlaw from his own country.

I hope that makes sense, but at the same time I hope that I am completely wrong.  There is nothing that infuriates me more than to see corruption spread itself so far that there is no possibility for truth and democracy. This whole thing is starting to appear as some sort of enourmous well thought out master plan that I hope never succeeds.  I guess we will see what next week brings.

Just for reference, I have tried to pluck all of the announcements/policies/actions made by the HAT in list form so it is easily viewed (in no particular order):

  • 22 region heads have been dismissed by HAT
  • Ndriarijaona gave an ultimatum to the ex-presidential guard to join them or be deserters.
  • HAT interim health minister and Telecommunications, Andriamananoro Augustine, tries to replace head of Befelatanana, Paul Rajaonarivelo, who has been at this post for 35 years. Andriamananoro Augustine faces strike and revolt when trying to replace him with a general practitioner, Dr. Dolores Rasolofiakarana, and states that they violate the ethics of law and medicine.
  • HAT education minister has replaced the headmaster of Lycée Moderne d’Ampefiloha, Nirina Razafindralambo, with their own headmaster. The previous headmaster was taken from the school and his whereabouts is unknown though it is suspected he is being held by CAPSAT.
  • Employees of Central bank went on strike when Monja Roindefo and HAT government attempt to impose their own rules on the bank.
  • HAT installs Pety Rakotoniaina, criminal, as mayor of Fianarantsoa. He was jailed for 12 years of hard labor for robbery, conspiracy and attempted coup with General Andrianafidisoa.
  • HAT plans to install new mayor in Toamasina.
  • Alain ANDRIAMISEZA a leading pro-legalist was arrested yesterday because of his vision of democracy, and that they were able to show for two months and the legalistic demonstrated peacefully for a week. He also pointed out that during their demonstration, there has been no vandalism or looting, or buildings burned.
  • Army/police have harrassed and incarcerated bloggers and journalists, forcing them to delete all photos taken at the site of confrontation with the police/army 03-30. They have used tear gas every day there was a rally and have open fire with live bullets on the crowd in a non-red zone.
  • HAT minister of security announces that any rallies require a permit from the AUC. Warning that organizers of the events are responsible before the law in case of overflow or acts of vandalism or damage of persons, private or public property. Gives a permit almost immediately to released criminals so they can occupy Ambohijatovo to prevent rallies.
  • HAT suspends parliament.
  • HAT removes Madagascar from SADC. The SADC represents a single market valued at $ 360 billion and 431 billion with the entry of Angola and the Congo. 15 countries are part of the SADC bloc including Mauritius, Seychelles, South Africa and Mozambique. The objectives of SADC are the customs union in 2010, the common market in 2015 and the single currency in 2018.
  • HAT assigns a new headmaster to Lycée Jules Ferry.
  • MP William Rakoto went missing when pro-legalists were prevented from going to May 13th square.
  • HAT has military search mines and private businesses for weapons or mercenaries.
  • HAT is regularily commandeering TIKO trucks.
  • HAT has lowered wages and stripped benefits from civil workers
  • HATs finances depend on the sale of Force One, mysterious owed taxes from TIKO and the money that would come from the foreign contracts they are re-opening in hopes of obtaining extra money.
  • HAT has fired ambassadors abroad for not agreeing with their government.
  • HAT minister of education mandates that all learning is to be done in French rather than Malagasy.
  • HAT is going to draft a new constitution with it’s own rules once they have stacked government.
  • HAT has filled 10 of 11 seats of the HCC with its own members.
  • HAT appoints Ranary Robertson as the new Attorney General of the Supreme Court.
  • HAT gets almost all non-humanitarian aid suspsended to the country. France continues to support Madagascar and the EU supports Madagascar until their contract is up.

Remember, all of this was done in just 22 business days (5 days, Mon – Fri) of being in office.

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8 Responses

  1. Hello Tgoose, I’m an American who has lived and worked in Madagascar for the past five years. I’ve been in America since the begining of March and was in Tana during the time of the coup d’ etat.

    There is little English language news of the ongoing situation in Tana. I know the crisis is not over but finding news gets more difficult every week.

    I really appreciate your blog. I hope you continue to post information on the Internet. You also provide links to other blogs that have good information as well.

    Keep up the good work, people who are not in Madagascar need it.

    Robert Horowitz

  2. Do you know anything about the Centre d’Education Specialisée Pour Les Enfants ayant des deficienes mentales. located in Mahajanga? It is a school for kids with mental disabilities.

  3. Thanks for the comment Robert. I ran into the same issue when I started my blog… so I decided to try and bring it all together and link to as many sources as possible to keep up with this crisis. Don’t worry, I plan to continue to post… and I am preparing for some small updates as well. Been busy lately so my posts have been less frequent… trying to achieve the work/family/blog time balance, you know? 🙂

  4. I am sorry, I am afraid that I am not familiar with the school. Sorry. I haven’t personally been to Mahajanga, but it is on my list of places to visit if anyone ever gets a chance to go back (post-HAT).

  5. I think your analyse are right. I’m worry that there is not any democracy in Madagascar actually than before and I’m angry with those UN and AU who didn’t really take their responsability but allowed this putchist to get his will what a shame for Africa and United Nations.
    I think the first thing they have to do is to allow Ravalomanana to return and start any discussion after. And I think there is no need of discussion but the UN and UA must organise a free election and that’s all.
    Malagasy may choose who they like.Actually the HAT is putting in place his team to get this election.(and I think it will not be democratic any more).

  6. Agree about the increasing difficulty to get information about the situation, especially in English. My French is OK, not great. Mostly using Twitter:
    http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23madagascar

  7. Twitter has been great, there is a lot of good information there… though sometimes you have to take it with a grain of salt. I follow that along with some blogs and whatever news I can grab from the web.

  8. Yup it is unfortunate that we went from democracy to a government of thugs. You shouldn’t be able to obtain a government with a gun. Hopefully the current AU and UN envoys are not biased as it has been rumoured, but even if they weren’t, the talks would probably stall the same as they did when it was just Rajoelina and Ravalomanana.

    But I think the only way that Ravalomanana will be back to participate in anything will be if he is accompanied with SADC troops… and if that is the case, then there is probably more trouble that will come with that. We will see, the rumour is that Ravalomanana is to be back in Madagascar this Saturday for the rally… so things could get interesting. Regarding elections, none will ever be fruitful unless they are transparent and monitored by an independant body… who knows if that will ever happen.

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