WAKE UP MADAGASCAR FIGHTS POWERCUT IN THE CAPITAL CITY


“When the power needed by the customers is too important than what is available, JIRAMA has to cut it” This is the first statement that you can see on the page under the category “powercut” from JIRAMA‘s web site. This means nothing else than: “powercuts are never the fault of the JIRAMA … customers are too power foodie”

logoJira

JIRAMA

JIRAMA is a state owned company which activities are exclusively focused on the production and supply of electricity and water. Even if the sector has been liberalized and open to any investor, JIRAMA remains the most important actor within the market specifically due to its large supplying framework throughout Madagascar. Power supply has always been a big issue and also a big challenge for JIRAMA. Combination of delapidated supply framework, need increasing, deficiency offer and last but not least: bad management and money misappropriation, have always helped to dig JIRAMA’s grave deeper and deeper while Malagasy population are left in the darkness.

10702175_315500295316561_3886695143401774679_n

The situation of JIRAMA has really worsened during the transition (2009 – 2013) where the public water and power supplier was among the most regular cash cows of the transition leaders. The situation has become so unstable (long powercut everyday) that a group of young men and women, gathered under the flag of citizen action movement: WAKE UP MADAGASCAR, have decided to protest publicly against powercut.

10702175_315500295316561_3886695143401774679_n

Citizen action which is among the most popular ways of demonstration, is quite still unknown in Madagascar. WAKE UP MADAGASCAR was born on Facebook and now it gathers young and very hyper-motivated activists who still believe that this new way to protest, is the right thing to do to change Madagascar.

10351152_315499941983263_5049394427295026321_n

So they decided to make a soundless chain around Anosy lake – downtown of Antananarivo – last Saturday, to show how tired they are with JIRAMA’s powercut. As some of them said: “we are JIRAMA’s customers, we then have the right to know what is happening there”

10170728_315499981983259_8249619665597271368_n

I was astonished to see the reaction of the authorities. The head of the Analamanga region gendarmerie has warned: “Whatever you do, as long as it is a public gathering, you need to apply for an authorization before the prefet. If you don’t do so, your action will be deemed as illegal and therefore you will be arrested and bear the pertaining sanctions.” So we can do nothing in Madagascar? Citizen expression is banned … please remind me for what purpose Andry Rajoelina’s supporters have foughted.

10444510_315574595309131_3447438293305063701_n

The immediate consequence was that there were many citizens who were afraid to take part into the demonstration. Antananarivo people are afraid of clash against security forces. Antananarivo people are tired … they don’t have dreams anymore, they don’t live, they survive …

10734190_315500338649890_2213264778669176026_nBut despite such fear, some courageous activists have decided to show to the whole nation that it was still possible to express ones’ voices in a “police state” like Madagascar. All together, they stood up, they reached each and everyone’s hands and they wore their little signs in which they wrote: “Tired of powercut! JIRAMA stop the powercut! We have the right to light! …”

10325640_315500161983241_1031847856038055334_n

There was no clash even if there were more armed security forces than protesters. WAKE UP MADA, last Saturday, has won its bet: YES! Citizen action is possible in Madagascar! Thank you Guys! WAKE UP MADA rocks!

Advertisements

Andry Rajoelina gives up


Andry Rajoelina finally made his decision: He will not be candidate for the presidential elections scheduled on May 08th, 2013.

Well I bet most of you already knew it. That was the buzz of yesterday evening. He made an official live TV statement yesterday at 08.00pm Mdg time from the presidential palace in Ambotsirohitra. After several months of suspense, he finally showed up his cards…

photo-037

His decision closed all the political bets that started with the Ravalomanana’s declaration not to run for presidency (the so basic and common talk about: neither Ravalomanana nor Rajoelina, either Ravalomanana or Rajoelina, Ravalomanana and Rajoelina, …).

International community (IC)

It is sure that the IC has played a key role on Rajoelina’s decision. Despite all the theoritical speeches over Malagasy sovereignty, Madagascar, especially on its current situation, can not afford  (yet) to get rid off IC. I am not an anti-nationalist but I am sincerely tired of all these so empty political speeches which try to call up for national pride … Remember, this is what Andry Rajoelina did when he wanted to rally all Antananarivo people against Ravalomanana: Daewoo, South African mercenaries, … The IC’s stand has always been clear: they follow SADC’s resolutions which wanted both leaders to sit on the sidelines for 2013.

Can we really trust Andry Rajoelina?

Are we really sure at 100% that he will sit and admire the landscape? Even if he made an official declaration to the nation, to all Malagasy people, what guarantee do we have that he will keep his words? It is not the first time that he denied his own signature and he knows very well that it is easy to do so just by claiming national interest. I don’t really feel confortable when discovering that he(Andry Rajoelina) already agreed not to be candidate for the presidential elections on … January 10th, 2013. Why did he fancy all this suspense though he already gave his words? Maybe he wanted to insist on a … magical last minute support from a powerful country … Will he do a last minute about-face? This is the $ 1,000 question.

Loabary an-dasy, you said?


“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.

Two letters from Madagascar: to be analysed


I have here two interesting letters from Andry Nirina Rajoelina and Marc Ravalomanana that I found posted on internet. They both reflect the stand from each side.

Andry Rajoelina, president of the HAT (High Authority of the Transition: an entity which does not legally exist but which 100% rules Madagascar) argues that the International community has to respect the choice of Malagasy people (which means the will to organize legislative / parliamentary elections on March 2010). Yesterday, Andry Nirina Rajoelina has declared during a press conference that the legislative / parliamentary elections will be postponed. He did not specify the date but it is almost sure that it would not go beyond November 2010 which is deemed by Jean Ping, the president of the AU commission as the deadline for the Malagasy transition.

Marc Ravalomanana, former president, condemns the unilateral conduct of the transition, and urges for a strict respect and compliance of the Maputo and Addis-Ababa agreements. These agreements set up the basis of a consensual and inclusive transition.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Andry Rajoelina’s letter

Published on Wall Street Journal on January 21st, 2010

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE FRIENDS OF MADAGASCAR: International meddling is obstructing the restoration of the constitutional order

Madagascar, my country, is sinking into a political crisis of extreme gravity, and there is no exit in sight. This situation is the result of the following series of events:

Last March, my predecessor, Marc Ravalomanana, at last became conscious of the limits of his autocratic exercise of power, having been awakened by an unprecedented popular movement. He took the initiative to leave the country, entrusted a military directory with power, then felt it was right to transfer power to me, as the constitution allowed him to do. The Malagasy High Constitutional Court, which was composed at the time only of members designated by Mr. Ravalomanana, validated these actions and ruled that they were in accordance with the Constitution.

The international community, however, railed against what it deemed a “putsch” or a “coup d’état“—terms that I vigorously oppose, considering not only the Constitutional Court’s approval, but also that the will of the large majority of the Malagasy people is to see me lead the Transitional Government.

As soon as I took office, I clearly said this period of transition should end as quickly as possible. I called for a return to the constitutional order through a rapid referendum, and through transparent and democratic elections. I asked the international community to support my country in these efforts.

The answer (from the United Nations, from the African Union, from the International Francophone Organization, from the Southern African Development Community) consisted of imposing a “consensual and inclusive” transition under the threat of sanctions. The sanctions included suspending the economic help without which my country is condemned to durable and inevitable chaos. The principle of a “consensual and inclusive” transition is in itself perfectly praiseworthy. Unfortunately, this principle clashed with the Malagasy reality, the limits of which the international community has apparently not been able to measure or appreciate.

What kind of consensus could have been found with a former president who is hated by his people, who plundered his country for his exclusive benefit, who ordered the shooting of a crowd demonstrating its legitimate will to see regime change?

Why demand, at all costs, that a national reconciliation process include two former heads of state—one who was deposed by the National Assembly and the other who is under severe penal prosecution, and whose political representation in Madagascar is almost nonexistent?

How could one imagine that a “consensual and inclusive” solution could be found with heads of parties and former heads of state, who have been disqualified by the Malagasy people but brought back to the political stage through gamesmanship? Why, when their sole aim is to demand more than what is reasonable, to block compromise, and to serve only the forces of inertia, should I be the only one held responsible for the failure of negotiations?

There are in Madagascar living forces who are much more representative of the people and of their aspirations than those who are responsible for the failures of the past, and who are still today demonstrating their incapacity to overcome mere partisan interests.

I have however accepted, under pressure from international authorities and considering the risk of eventual sanctions for my country, to compromise with heads of parties designated by these authorities. My hope is that if we are guided solely by the interest of the people and of the country, we can find a consensual way to organize quick elections.

Readers should recall that, despite the fact that I have the support of a large majority of the Malagasy people and of the army, I have, during diverse negotiations in Antananarivo, Maputo, and Addis Ababa, agreed to many compromises—probably more than I should have, given my strong base. But this is not enough for my interlocutors. Their revanchist spirit and appetite for power overwhelm the general interest.

But the Malagasy people have been waiting for six months, impatiently, for the end to an illusory and unnatural mediation. Madagascar is being held hostage to a logic that it does not understand. Because there is no exit in sight and because the country is in the midst of a long stagnation, my fellow citizens are made into victims. There is an urgent need to end this situation.

I have therefore taken the decision to stop participating to the so-called Maputo negotiations. It is my responsibility as president of the Transition is to give the Malagasy people a voice. Only a legitimate authority will be able to democratically put an end to this difficult period of trouble.

I have designated a new prime minister in charge of leading the current government, whom I am confirming in his duties and whose only mission, apart from the management of daily affairs, is to organize the next elections. I can announce that the election of the members of the Constituent Assembly of the Sixth Republic will take place on March 20, 2010. On that date, the current government will resign.

A new prime minister will then be appointed from the party which wins a majority in the next elections. That prime minister will be in charge of forming a new government, taking into account the representation of various political forces in the new parliament. This government, the result of legislative elections, will be charged with organizing presidential elections so that the new president of the Republic could take up his post before June 26.

After the Maputo failure, there is no other solution to end this crisis. The Malagasy people must have the liberty to choose their own future. May the international community understand that there is no other alternative, and help us on the path to return to the constitutional order.

Mr. Rajoelina is president of the high transitional authority of Madagascar.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Marc Ravalomanana’s letter

January 24th, 2010

The leader of Madagascar’s illegal coup regime is attempting the impossible: to re-write recent history in an effort to blame the international community, not himself, for Madagascar’s nightmarish woes.
Only a tyrannical dictator would hijack a country at gunpoint; oust democratically-elected leaders; commit grave human rights violations; and bring the nation to the brink of social, economic, and political ruin.
Incredibly and ironically, the coup leader proclaims himself a champion of democracy and the masses, while banning opponents from the political process, reneging on political agreements, and laying the groundwork for sham elections, defying the wishes of the Malagasy people and the world for the return of genuine democracy and constitutional order.
Since the coup in Madagascar last March, the international community – the United Nations, the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, the European Union, and the United States – has consistently branded the coup regime illegal and unacceptable.
Last year, with the support of the international community, Madagascar’s four main political movements, including one representing the coup regime, signed an agreement to form a consensus and inclusive transition government.
The Maputo Agreements provided a framework for exiting the crisis and restoring democracy and constitutional order.
However, the coup regime quickly abandoned the agreement and resumed its oppressive crackdown on the Malagasy people.
Restoring democracy, human rights, and constitutional order in Madagascar is non-negotiable.
As the twice democratically-elected president of Madagascar, I repeat my commitment to finding a consensual and inclusive solution to this crisis.
I urge all fellow Malagasy citizens, with the support and help of the international community, to join hands on the path to righteousness.
By respecting the Maputo Agreements and by forming the agreed-upon transition government, we can restore democracy and constitutional order.
This is the solution sought by the vast majority of the Malagasy people, and this is the solution the international community supports.


Impossible Mission in Madagascar


The (real) consensus government of Eugene Mangalaza was not set up last Saturday as initially scheduled. The four movements could not reach an agreement on the sharing of the cabinet posts.Immediately after the announcement that negotiations have failed, the co-president Fetison Rakoto Andrianirina declared that the presidential council and the prime minister have decided to resume negotiations abroad. The president (of the transition) Andry Nirina Rajoelina has required the maintaining of the current ministers in regard to the “principle of the continuity of the state” (can he legally rely on that?). The former president Zafy Albert accused Andry Rajoelina for being the “main obstacle” for the consensus (actually, the Rajoelina’s movement requires ALL the “ministries of sovereignty”). The former president Didier Ignace Ratsiraka “begs” all the parties to reach an agreement for the good of Malagasy people.

The proposal of Didier Ignace Ratsiraka

Yesterday (Monday November 23rd) through a phone call during TV+ news broadcast (a private TV station which belongs to him), the “red admiral” proposed to the leaders of the other three movements to meet as soon as possible in Paris at the Madagascar embassy. He also proposed other locations in Paris such as the offices of the OIF (International Organization of the Francophonie) or the UNESCO. He said that the costs related to the travels and the accomodations would not be too important (…) for the Malagasy state.

The hesitation of Joacquim Chissano

Joacquim Chissano, former president of Mozambic, has expressed his reservations about another meeting between the four leaders outside Madagascar. And what if these future negotiations will be held at the Madagascar embassy in Paris (following Ratsiraka’s proposal)?

The stand of Andry Nirina Rajoelina

Backed by a “group of Young Officers” led by Lieutenant Colonel Charles Andrianasoavina and Lieutenant Colonel Rene Lylison (both heads of the FIS (Special Intervention Force) and security advisors of the presidency), Andry Nirina Rajoelina asks for all the ministries of sovereignty (homeland security – defence – interior – state secretary of the gendarmerie – foreign affairs – finance). According to him, the resolutions of Addis-Abebahave legally devoted him as a real and SOLE chief of state. Due to his position, he thinks that it is his right to require all the ministries of sovereignty. He forgot to mention that, according to the Addis-Abeba convention, he has to share his quality of chief of state with the two co-presidents: Emmanuel Rakotovahiny and Fetison Rakoto Andrianirina, within the presidency council.

The revelation of  Zafy Albert

The professor Zafy Albert, last Sunday, expressed his anger and disappointment against Andry Nirina Rajoelina and his movement. He accused Andry Nirina Rajoelina for “sticking” to a secret agreement entered between him and Didier Ignace Ratsiraka in France: the agreement of Malmaison. According to Zafy Albert,the witnesses and facilitators to this secret agreement were: Tiebile Drame (special emissary of the UN) and Beatrice Lederle (special representative of the ministry of French foreign affairs).

Nowadays, the political situation in Madagascar remains uncertain and all the Malagasy people are more and more afraid of international sanctions and, above all, of a complete break of the relationships between Madagascar and International donors such as EU, IMF and WB.

Because of the procrastination of politicians, the future of the whole Malagasy people remains darker and darker. But … tell me … WHO IS THE REAL PROBLEM OF THIS COUNTRY ?!