And then there was one.
The power struggle that has plagued Madagascar since January may have come to an end. Yesterday, after attempts by Andry Rajoelina supporters to remove President Marc Ravalomanana from office, the army, which has now sided with Rajoelina, took control of the presidential palace in Ambotsirohatra.
A few hours later, Ravalomanana officially resigned and transferred power to a military committee (mg/fr) composed of four army generals loyal to him. Rajoelina refused to accept the handover, and the generals were arrested by soldiers loyal to Rajoelina, along with a pastor assisting with the mediation (mg). The pastor was also later found beaten by civilians.
Footage of the abusive treatment of the army generals by former mutineers were a reminder that violence might still be erupting in a divided country.
There were many celebrations in the streets of Antananarivo following the news that Ravalomanana resigned.
However, Ravalomanana supporters are said to plan be planning a rally for Wednesday in Mahamasina stadium to protest what they consider a “coup d'etat”.
Desepite this major turning point, the simmering tension and division among Malagasy bloggers who are afraid of what tomorrow may bring, was palpable.
There is great confusion among the people because up to now we don't really have any information about what the rally is going to be about and what they are going to do. And again, we are worried about trouble in terms of clashes between supporters of Marc Ravalomanana and the supporters of Andry Rajoelina. There was an event just over a week ago where there were some confrontations and violence between the two camps. So, that kind of rally always creates trouble and we are worried about violence in this country
…on ne sait pas vraiment ce que veut faire l'opposition. Je crains le pire. Rajoelina n'a pas l'étoffe d'un président. Il est trop jeune et manque d'expérience. Je doute de sa capacité à mener le pays
Madagate is thrilled that Ravaloamana is out and that Rajoelina is in charge of the HAT (the transition government) (fr):
Marc Ravalomanana, le petit laitier d’Imerikasinina, a été renié par ceux à qui il venait de remettre les pleins pouvoirs. Ils n’ont pas voulu vendre leur âme au diable. Les carottes sont cuites pour ce président qui a montré son véritable visage. A force de jouer avec le feu et les idoles, on se brûle. Ce fut vraiment le combat de la lumière et des ténèbres.
Jentilisa has a different take (mg):
Manahy dia manahy aho raha ny zavatra hita androany no ijerena ny ampitso fa dia tena faneriterena tsy misy toy izany no hihatra amin'ny tsirairay hanatanterahana ny sitrapon'ny mpitondra vaovaon'ny firenena izay lazaiko sahady fa tsy ekeko satria an-terisetra no nanaovany ny zavatra rehetra.
Hery thinks that peace still won't settle soon in Madagascar despite this change (mg):
Tsy resy lahatra aho amin'ny hilaminan'ny politika ao Madagasikara ao anatin'ny 2 taona farafahakeliny raha mandray fitondrana ny TGV [..] Hafa ny mitolona, ary hafa ny mitondra firenena.