“Loabary an-dasy” is the Malagasy word for “debate”. Fetison Rakoto Andrianirina, the leader of the Ravalomanana movement (actually, he is the n° 02) will organize today and tomorrow a “consensual and inclusive” national debate which will take place in Carlton Hotel, Anosy, Antananarivo.
The idea of organizing a national “inclusive and consensual” debate was born after the visit of Jean Ping, the president of AU commission, in Madagascar on January 21st and 22nd, 2010. Jean Ping, obviously tired to have the “Madagascar case” on his desk, presented some proposals from the AU to resolve once for all the Malagasy crisis. He mainly presented these proposals to the four movements which were all co-signatories of the Maputo agreements, and especially to Andry Rajoelina. The AU and Jean Ping have understood that the “new strongman of the island” holds all the power in Madagascar and that nothing can be done without his consent. Andry Rajoelina is also deemed by the AU and the International Community in general, except France, as the main obstacle to the implementation of the Maputo agreements and Addis-Ababa additional convention, so to a quick and fair settlement of the crisis. Jean Ping did not beat around the bush, he clearly warned that if the Malagasy political opponents keep on failing to reach an inclusive and consensual agreement within 15 days, Madagascar and its de-facto leaders will face International sanctions. I’m eager to know what kind of sanctions will it be … Which button will they press? The red? The white?
Fetison Rakoto Andrianirina has alerted that if Malagasy politicians do not find a “good agreement” before February 07th, the International sanctions will be dropped on Madagscar. “It will create a unprecedent disaster for Malagasy people and for the country. We have to find a consensus as soon as possible … it’s a matter of death or life” He said. “I, not in my quality of leader of Ravalomanana movement, but acting as a normal and any citizen, will organize a national, inclusive and consensual debate for all the forces of the nation to find a common solution to the crisis. This solution will be presented to the ICG (International Contact Group) not later than February 07th” He declared.
The policy of Fetison Rakoto Andrianirina is then to invite all the forces (including the four movements, the civil society, the army, the civil servants …) to brainstorm about a plan to end the crisis. Such plan will be agreed by the four movements (in fact there are only two key movements: Ravalomanana and Rajoelina) and submitted to the IGC. This (last chance?) initiative is good in its substance but a bit naive. After the several attempts made by the FFKM (Community of Christian Churches in Madagascar), the Malagasy civil society and above all the International Community to “force” the protagonists to agree between them, what kind of magic formula has he found to make everyone agree on a kind of “acceptable” common resolution? Well, it’s not that I’m pessimistic but after all we all have seen that so many negotiation ways have been used … and failed. On a primary view, the proposal from Fetison Rakoto Andrianirina does not highlight any spectacular any specific tric which can reconcile the opponents.
The opponents … let’s talk about them, I heavily doubt about the readiness of the Rajoelina movement to take part into such debate. The main reason is that they are not ready to share a tiny slice of their power (that they have illegaly got) through any sort of negotiation round. They have the Army, the Police, the Gendarmerie, so what else? They knew very weel that the msot important element to grab and to keep the power is the gun. They do have this gun now! So why would they negociate with you? Do they need you? You may say “International recognition, International aids, International sanctions”, but these threats would work if there were no other foreign backing (our former “Mère Patrie”, Lybia, and may be China). Let’s be frank, the transitional administration led by Andry Rajoelina would have never dared to challenge the International Community and its International, Regional institutions if there were no powerful backing behind them. The Malagasy militaries would have never dared “to complete the work that Andry Rajoelina has started” if there were no powerful and wealthy nations behind the coup.
Even if the national debate of today and may be tomorrow would end up as a complete failure or tragedy (we’re used with bloody tragedy since the take over of Andry Rajoelina), it does not hide a very important point: the initiative from a citizen to rescue his country. Even if this event is politically motivated by Fetison Rakoto Andrianirina (no one can deny that he has gained positive image towards Malagasy people since he acted as the leader of Ravalomanana movement), he has won a good point: for many Malagasy people, he is the guy who has dared to stand to do something (naive?) even if he was about to be arrested by security forces. Now I really belive that he has got another battle: the fight to have another political image, a more independant one may be.