There is a lot of expensive childish behaviour going on in Madagascar. And no, I am not talking about the 2005 animated production by dreamworks. I am talking about the ongoing standoff between former mayor of Antananarivo, Mr. Andry Rajoelina and the president, Mr. Marc Ravalomanana. A few days ago the former mayor, who heads two communication firms, including a TV station, claimed to be in charge of the country – a treasonous act if you ask me. Reacting to this the president ordered the closing of his radio station. Mr. Rajoelina later ordered his supporters to storm the presidential palace, an act that resulted in the death of some 25 people.
It is unclear what the former mayor really wants. He is not eligible to be president on account of his age (He is 34 and must be 40 to be eligible to run in the 2011 elections). Although Mr. Marc Ravalomanana’s government is no efficiency machine, causing chaos and uncertainty in the manner that Mr. Rajoelina is doing will cause more harm than good. President Ravalomanana was elected in 2006 and should be allowed to serve his full term. If the former mayor wants him out of office he should use legal means. Using the poor people of Antananarivo as pawns in his attempt to grab power is a most heinous crime. More than 25 lives have been lost. How many more people does he want to die before he sees the folly of his actions? There has to be a better way of doing this.
Also, president Ravalomanana should wake up and smell the coffee. It is time he stopped the corruption in his government that precipitated the cancellation of much needed development assistance in December of last year (2008). The president should step up his government’s efforts to improve the lives of the people of Madagascar instead of just enriching himself. Otherwise trouble makers like Rajoelina will have every excuse (and every right) to send their supporters to the streets in order to disrupt constitutional order.