High Treason

After 5 long days of talks “without” Rajoelina, the 3 remaining political parties have determined a way to divvy up the governmental ministries among the 4 political movements. According to the associated press, the ministries have been split as follows:

Ravalomanana:

    • Commerce
    • Foreign

Ratsiraka:

    • Finance
    • Energy

Zafy:

    • Environment
    • Mines

Rajoelina:

    • Justice
    • Armed Forces
    • Economy
    • Industry

Despite an agreement being reached and signed between the 3 movements which in all appearances seems to be a reasonable way of dispersing the governmental ministries, Rajoelina fired back at his opposing leaders stating that the deal was an “attack on national sovereignty” and was tantamount to “high treason” as it violated previously agreed power-sharing principles and demoted Rajoelina to the same level as other faction leaders in the proposed interim government. Rajoelina even went so far as to strand all of the opposition leaders in Mozambique, forbidding any air exchanges between Madagascar and Mozambique, according to this associated press article.

So with all the opposition parties stuck in Mozambique, what can we expect next for the crisis in Madagascar? Most likely you can expect a great deal of banter back and forth between opposition parties, SADC and Rajoelina initially. But almost inevitably you can expect that Rajoelina will be coming back to the opposition/SADC with specific demands that will ensure that he not only maintains the ministries he wishes to control, but also ensure that he has supreme power over all other parties. These tactics are far from new and have been proven time and time again to be  a very effective negotiating tactic. So at some point in the next month or so, there will be a meeting amongst all parties to try once again to distribute the governmental ministries amongst all political parties… this is, of course, after concessions are made by the opposition party for one or more of Rajoelina’s demands.

I am finding that this whole political situation is a lot like a game of Monopoly. Initially, it looks like there is a lot of progress and that some amazing things happen. But after a while, particularly near the end, you just end up going around the board endlessly hoping not to land on any property containing hotels. The game continues endlessly until the people with the least amount of property give in and finally concede to the person that has the most money/property and hotels. Inevitably I think that all the opposition parties are of course going to have to give in to a lot of demands that are being made by Rajoelina in order to inch closer to some sort of deal that will actually stick. As long as they do not define at the time of negotiations every little detail of the transitional government, talks will break off, the transitional government will fall apart and we will again be forced back the the negotiating table.

The one thing that is absolutely clear about the negotiations is that the opposition parties cannot negotiate amongst themselves without the assistance of mediator. If they are left on their own to negotiate, we can expect that this type of situation will repeat itself, ad nausium. I think it is time to either arrange an immediate election (within 6 months) or threaten to topple the coup by force and then have the election. If Rajoelina is left alone to wield supreme power over Madagascar these types of negotiating stunts are going to continue, perhaps endlessly. What Rajoelina is doing to the citizens of Madagascar is criminal and something needs to be done sooner rather than later.

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