Opposition supporters 21-24 April protested in capital Antananarivo against new electoral laws they claim are designed to prevent opposition candidate and former Presidents Ravalomanana and Rajoelina from running in late-2018 presidential elections; two protesters died in confrontations with police. Opposition activists 24 April called on President Rajaonarimampianina to resign.
Madagascar’s recent elections marked an ostensible return to democracy, but unless the new government works hard to implement meaningful political, economic and social reforms, the prospect of further crisis is just a matter of time.
While the reality and extent of the coup announced yesterday by military officers is still uncertain, the latest events demonstrate the fragility of the situation in Madagascar and the urgent need for a new international strategy to end the long crisis. Negotiations should now focus on international support to the electoral process based on strict conditions.
Madagascar has been in crisis since the bloody upheavals in early 2009. Several rounds of mediation under the auspices of the African Union (AU) and others have not unlocked the stalemate.
Originally published in City Press