Military coup in Madagascar fails, democracy remains in place
November 19, 2006
Reuters reports that an attempted military coup by General Andrianafidisoa, who has been barred from running in the December 3 presidential election, failed on Friday.
Andrianafidisoa attempted to take over Ivato military base but was attacked by soldiers early Saturday morning. One government soldier was killed in the shootout. Standing president Marc Ravalomanana issued an arrest warrant for the general and continued campaigning in the northern part of the Indian Ocean island nation.
The last election in Madagascar featured a political standoff that resulted in a blockage of the capital and a serious economic blow to one of the world’s poorest countries. There is fear that future unrest could be damaging to the nascent tourism industry and development of recently discovered oil fields.
Chameleon in Madagascar. Photo by Rhett Butler
Madagascar, the world’s fourth largest island, is famous for its spectacular biodiversity — including lemurs, chameleons, and hedgehog-like tenrecs — and unusual landscapes. While the country produces the world’s finest vanilla and high-quality gemstones, it is desparately poor, with around 70 percent of the population living on less than $1 per day.
This is a modified news release from The Wistar Institute.