A Cosmetic End to Madagascar's Crisis?
"Madagascar is a divided, impoverished, broken democracy that has suffered a “cyclical pattern from crisis to crisis, but the period in between each appears to be getting shorter”. Its latest crisis has proven particularly intense, drawn-out and damaging, politically, diplomatically and economically. In 2009, a military directorate took power from President Marc Ravalomanana and handed it to the then Antananarivo Mayor Andry Rajoelina. Ravalomanana was forced into exile, and Rajoelina became president of the “High Authority of the Transition”. In response, the international community, led by the African Union(AU) and Southern African Development Community(SADC), took a principled, firm stance: governments that come to power in a coup should not be rewarded with recognition and financial support. Consequently, Madagascar became an international pariah, deprived of critical foreign budget support. A unified international community signalled that only democratic elections would bring Madagascar back into the community of states.Rajoelina, however, would not allow his deposed rival to return from exile, while Ravalomanana – and his millions of followers – refused to participate in polls that excluded his movement. Neither camp would budge and Madagascar slipped further into stagnation. The international community, led by the International Contact Group for Madagascar (ICG-M, an aggregation of foreign governments and donors) repeatedly pushed for inclusive elections to be held as soon as possible."