Clouds over the beach on the Bay on Antongil.
Madagascar moved closer to a political crisis over the weekend when transitional president Andry Rajoelina, who seized power earlier this year in a military coup, named retired army Colonel Albert Camille Vital as prime minister. The move came two days after Rajoelina dismissed Prime Minister Eugene Mangalaza who had assumed the role under a power-sharing agreement between warring political factions. Now the stage is set for new confrontation between forces loyal Rajoelina and the former president, Marc Ravalomanana, who fled the country at gun point in March.
Rajoelina’s appointment of an army colonel is likely an offer to shore up support from the military. Rajoelina made no mention of elections.
Rajoelina’s rule has been marred by rampant poaching of timber in Madagascar’s national parks, rising crime, growing poverty, and lack of action on a wide range of policy issues.