The Rajoelina Shuffle

Not too surprising is the news that the most recent proposals from the SADC were rejected and are far from sufficient, especially since that agreement essentially hands Madagascar to Rajoelina on a silver platter complete with international recognition.

So it does surprise me a lot less that in the wake of his most recent rejection that he lashes out in his usual form by arresting any opposition leader that he can find and propose a change to his current government.

February 10th, Rajoelina’s kangaroo court sentenced 21 people to 13 months in prison simply for taking part in a demonstration stating “The group was accused of gathering illegally, resisting police orders and destroying public property at an anti-Rajoelina protest in November 2010.” I do not suspect that they have any evidence that links them to any significant damages, but I suppose in the court of the HAT none of this matters as long as the voice of the opposition is quelled in some way.

Afterward the Rajoelina decides that his government needs yet another shuffle, which is almost becoming a regular occurrence when some sort of negotiation fails. The reshuffle is under the guise that this new version of this tired illegal government will in some way be more ‘inclusive’ than the last, despite the fact that they have just arrested 21 members of the opposition. We are all well aware of how ‘inclusive’ these governments are… so inclusive that most of the opposition party members resign and are replaced by people of Rajoelina’s choosing. I don’t think any of us can say exactly why he would try to do this a third time, he must know full well by now that he would not gain anything by it.

And to top things off for the week, the HAT government issues a statement to Marc Ravalomanana who seems to have had plans to return to Madagascar this coming Saturday. No one can really say for sure why Marc Ravalomanana would risk all by returning to the country, but if he insists on going, he clearly has a death wish. The HAT government has stated that “Authorities in Madagascar said Wednesday that ousted President Marc Ravalomanana will be arrested if he enters the country.” One might not think that this is not too terrible a fate for someone, but you need to remember that he was sentenced by the Rajoelina kangaroo court last year in absentia to life in prison and hard labour after his guards opened fire in front of the presidential palace, killing 30 opposition protesters in February 2009. I think you can almost guarantee that if Marc Ravalomanana returns to Madagascar that you will never see or hear from him again.

So we return once again to our stalemate where the only solution is the Malagasy ousting Andry Rajoelina themselves as no international community, UN, SADC, AU care one iota about this country or the condition of its people. Perhaps we can hope that the unrest triggered by Tunisia can spread from Africa over to Madagascar and spark an uprising against Rajoelina, time will tell.


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