Thursday, February 5, 2009

No, really, I mean Madagascar

Taking the risk that readers here will accuse me of picking only reports from the *most* remote and distant places on the planet to comment on...

There has been a steadily developing story in Madagascar as the national Government of President Marc Ravalomanana has been locked in a political battle with Andry Rajoelina, Mayor of the capital city Antananarivo. (Those readers here familar with Venezuela will immediately recognize the parallels)

According to the Associated Press, the fight, at least the legal part, is over. The National Police Minister announced that the mayor is "replaced". A. Rajoelina wasn't exactly accepting the order, though.
On a day of setbacks, the mayor told reporters his dismissal was "illegal" and proof "once more of the dictatorial nature of this regime."

He called for protests in the capital for Wednesday and urged foreigners to stay at home. He told a news conference Tuesday that he planned peaceful protests "but you can never tell how the people will react to this decision" to dismiss him.

After the president temporarily shut down the mayor's TV station last week, mass protests turned into riots and looting that left dozens of people dead.
I include the last line of the quotation just to convey the stakes of this confrontation.

Expect it to get worse before it gets better.

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