For several weeks the tension in Madagascar has been ever growing with open hostilities between government and opposition. This week the situation has been most dramatic as opposition and military stormed governmental and presidential offices. President Ravalomanana has fought for his office refusing to stand down, even opening up to a referendum on his future position. This was however refused by the opposition which today March 17 forced the president to resign. Even though the military has taken an important role in this transition, we could hardly describe this as a full coup d’etat. Since the president today accepts to stand down and as the opposition leader will take over the presidency, we should instead consider this as a provisional government. Ravalomanana was though elected not to be considered a genuinly democratic leader nor a dictator or strong authoritarian leader. It is obvious that Madagascar has shown a lack of democratic credibility, in a somewhat semi-authoritarian leadership. To make sure that Madagascar at this point will become more of a democratic state, the new president Rajoelina should show good will to the new opposition(as it de facto has a significant support). It mustbe kept its political right to function as an opposition. Furthermore Rajoelina should in a not too distant future call for fresh elections to “normalise” the situation in Madagascar.
Archive for March, 2009
The International Criminal Court has issued an Arrest Warrant on Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir, with intention to put him to trial on several crime charges. In one way this is a welcomed decision, but it will affect the situation in both Darfur and Sudan. Elections to both presidency and påarliament are about to be held in Sudan, it is unclear what direction the monthg to come will go. Should on one side Al-Bashir be arrested and removed from presidency there could either open up for a more democratic system, or Al-Bashir could be replaced by a new leadership not as pragmatic. This could perhaps threasten the unity government with representatives of southern Sudan. And possibly even the current peace there.
President Vieira of Guinea-Bissau has been killed in an army revolt, shortly after the killing of Chief of army.
The former military leader and authoritarian ruler of the country, was now president of a basically democratic State. Therefore this attack must be condemned as an act against the political order. Still a country ravaged by poverty and criminality, there has been few good signs of political stability.
A revolt against a democratically elected leader must always be condemned and actions to alter the political situation outside the poll and political establishments as well. At this point the situation aseems a bit unclear, whether the remainder of the government or military rebels are in control of the country.
Guinea-Bissau follows military rules in Mauritania and Guinea, hopefully a civilian and provisional government will succeed Vieira in the present situation.