Madagascar. At the beginning of the year, dissatisfaction with President Marc Ravalomanana and his government increased. The discontent was channeled through the capital Antananarivo’s only 34-year-old Mayor Andry Rajoelina, who criticized restrictions on freedom of speech and the government’s decision to lease vast agricultural land to the South Korean industrial group Daewoo. At the end of January, nearly 70 people died during demonstrations against the president of Antananarivo and other cities. Tens of thousands of people took part in the protests, which were followed by Rajoelina proclaiming himself president. He was immediately dismissed from the mayor’s post, but instead led new demonstrations against the presidential palace, killing the presidential guard at least 28 people and injuring a few hundred. This led to the resignation of the Minister of Defense. After attempts to negotiate between the parties collapsed, the soldiers mutated and even forced the new defense minister to resign. The myth spread among the bandages around the capital and soldiers with tanks entered the presidential palace. On March 17, Ravalomanana announced that he was handing over power to the military command, which immediately handed it over to Rajoelina. The Constitutional Court approved his takeover of power, even though under the Constitution he was too young to be president. His first action in power was to tear down the lease with Daewoo. who immediately left it on Rajoelina. The Constitutional Court approved his takeover of power, even though under the Constitution he was too young to be president. His first action in power was to tear down the lease with Daewoo.
The coup d’etat led to the African Union (AU), the South African Cooperation Organization SADC and the Francophone International Organization (OIF) excluding Madagascar and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) freezing planned aid. The unrest also hit hard on tourism, one of the country’s most important sources of income. Peace negotiations through various mediators were held in rounds during the summer but on several occasions appeared to have been stranded.
According to countryaah, Ravalomanana, who moved to South Africa, was sentenced in his absence to four years in prison for abuse of power and to a fine of about half a billion SEK. Following the mediation of the SADC, Madagascar’s four main political camps – rivals Rajoelina and Ravalomanana, as well as circles around the Presidents Didier Ratsiraka and Albert Zafy – agreed to form a unity government during a 15-month transition period, during which general elections would be held. Only in November, however, were they able to agree on the more detailed forms of cooperation; what was described by a mediator as a “legal monster”. Rajoelina would remain president, but by his side had two “co-presidents”. The prime minister would have three deputy prime ministers. In addition, 31 ministerial posts would be distributed among the four camps. From the beginning, questions were raised as to how long this construction would last, which even turned out to be shorter than the pessimists feared. In December, Rajoelina terminated the co-government agreement and dismissed the top figures who had been appointed. The military-backed president responded to competitors’ decision to appoint ministers without his involvement and their plans to convene parliament.