After loosing every backing from the Military, Madagascar’s President, Mr. Marc Ravalomanana, resigned from office to bring a three-month-old power tussle in the country to an end. His resignation saw a few of his cabinet ministers follow suit.
Mr. Ravalomanana who had said he was ready to fight for his office till death was compelled to give in to the pressure from the opposition. “I have decided to give up power after a deep reflection. This decision was very difficult and very hard, but it had to be made. We need calm and peace to develop our country,” he said in a radio address. Many Malagasies believe that there could have been widespread violence and even a possible bloodbath if Mr. Ravalomanana had not handed over power to the military.
The African Union appealed to the military not to hand over power to Andry Rajoelina, insisting that it is unconstitutional for a non-elected body to snatch power from a legally elected president. But the military leaders in Madagascar rejected the appeals and handed over power to the opposition leader, making their military to civilian transition the shortest in the history of Africa.
The 34 year old Mr. Rajoelina, a former disc jockey, has been quick to announce a necessary change to the current constitution, which sets a minimum age of 40 for presidential candidates. “I accept humbly and with love – I assume as a duty – all responsibility, management and leadership of our beloved country, Madagascar,” Mr. Rajoelina said as he accepted his new position. Later talking to LCI, a French information network, Rajoelina said, “I am now in charge of the new transition government (…) you can call me president.”
Flanked by the military on all sides, Mr Rajoelina was paraded in central Antananarivo before thousands of supporters. The African Union, Botswanan President, and observers have all condemned Mr. Rajoelina’s rise to power. Some analysts have not ruled out the possibility that he could be somebody’s puppet paving the way for a bigger plan.