Madagascar's president 'steps down'
Tuesday 17 March 2009
Madagascar's President Marc Ravalomanana handed power to a navy admiral today after a power struggle with the opposition on the Indian Ocean island, a presidential aide said.
"The president has handed power to the military," spokesman Andry Ralijaona said. "In this case, it is the elder of the highest rank and I understand that is Hyppolite Ramaroson."
He said Ravalomanana had left his presidential palace and was at an undisclosed location. The spokesman said he believed the president had quit in the best interests of Madagascar.
"I would imagine it was because of his analysis of the situation and he came to the conclusion this is best for the country. He behaved as a statesman," Ralijaona said.
Weeks of turmoil and protests, led by young opposition leader Andry Rajoelina, have killed 135 people on Madagascar, crippled tourism and scared foreign investors in the mining and oil exploration sectors.
Rajoelina led supporters into the presidential palace in Antananarivo on Tuesday after a rally in which he declared eight of Ravalomanana's ministers had resigned due to the crisis.
Presidential guards and hundreds of supporters are protecting Ravalomanana at another palace which is his residence on the outskirts of Antananarivo. He had vowed to fight to the death if pro-opposition soldiers try to drive him from power.
Yesterday, Madagascar's traditionally neutral army threw its weight behind Rajoelina and stormed a presidential palace in the heart of Antananarivo. It also seized the central bank.
Rajoelina, a 34-year-old former disc jockey and sacked mayor of Antananarivo, has been calling for Ravalomanana's resignation since the start of 2009 and now wants him arrested. He calls the president a dictator running Madagascar like a private firm.
- 1 Isis burns thousands of books and rare manuscripts from Mosul's libraries
- 2 Scarlett Johansson new band 'already hit with legal complaint' from another The Singles
- 3 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 5 'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Isis burns thousands of books and rare manuscripts from Mosul's libraries
Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
Mohammed Emwazi: Family of man named as 'Jihadi John' described by neighbours as 'normal Muslim family'
Mohammed Emwazi: Nine things we know about Isis militant 'Jihadi John'
Mohammed Emwazi: Man identified as Isis killer 'Jihadi John' 'stopped by MI5' while on safari holiday in Africa in 2010
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
£30-35k (P/T - Pro Rata) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienc...
£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join ...
£16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...
£45,000: Anna Woodward: My client is aleading global manufacturer and service ...