Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Spain 'goes nuclear' on Catalonia

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Civil rights leader Al Sharpton says Trump 'channels' racism

Read more

THE DEBATE

Moment of truth: Spain sets in motion direct rule over Catalonia

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Must it come down? Market analysts bracing for correction

Read more

FOCUS

Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto to vote on autonomy

Read more

THE POLITICAL BRIEF

France considers tough new laws to crack down on sexual harassment

Read more

ENCORE!

Inside the new Yves Saint Laurent museum in Morocco

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

California: When your home is reduced to ashes

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

#balancetonporc: Sexual harassment and gender inequality in France

Read more

Africa

Last governmental supporters rally around presidential palace

Video by Cyril VANIER

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-03-15

Madagascar's opposition claims it is close to toppling President Marc Ravalomanana; who in turn called on the poverty-stricken population to protect the presidential palace. But only a few hundred have rallied to the weakened president's call.

In Madagascar, the opposition is increasingly claiming control over the country’s institutions. President Marc Ravalomanana’s grasp on power is looking shaky: the crowd of a few hundred supporters gathered around his palace appears to be his last line of defence.

 

Although opposition leader and former mayor Andry Rajoelina is in hiding, his movement appears to be gaining strength every day.

 

His allies believe that the government will soon be pressured out of power, clearing the way for them to run the country. It’s not legal but it has worked in the past.

 

"In 1991, in 2002 and right now, the solution to the crisis has always been outside the constitution. It’s difficult for the international community to understand that the people decide,”  explains Augustine Andriamananoro, spokesperson for Andry Rajoelina.

 

Earlier, national radio warned that the president might be forcibly removed from power and called on supporters to help protect him.

 

Following his call, several hundred people gathered in front of the presidential palace. Despite the enthusiasm of those present, it was hardly a show of mass popular support.

 

 “We’re here to defend our president. He was democratically elected in 2006, with 54% of the vote,” says one supporter. “He's our president, we're allowed to watch what's going on...this is the news," adds another.

 

Meanwhile, the power struggle between the government and the opposition continues. Government loyalists are keen to show the president still has support, but outside the immediate vicinity of the presidential palace, it is the opposition, not them, that runs the streets.

 

 

Date created : 2009-03-13

COMMENT(S)