Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

20 years of Harry Potter

Read more

THE DEBATE

Modi meets Trump: The ties that bind US and India leaders

Read more

FOCUS

Left-wing activism on the rise in the United States

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

'Huge failure' on refugee crisis is 'existential problem for EU'

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Divisions over migration policy: What should the EU do?

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

A trip through France's breathtaking Auvergne region

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

When Modi met Trump: Budding romance or one-night stand?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

How to counter Islamic State group propaganda?

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Coal power plant in Senegal worries residents; and the Venezuelan TV show... in a bus

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)