Potential Hot Spots: March 9, 2002

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: The islands political shenanigans have gained an international press headline: the press is calling the fight for power in Madagascar the velvet coup. On March 4, opposition leader (and self-proclaimed president) Marc Ravalomanana appointed a dozen new ministers to various government posts. President Didier Ratsiraka accused Ravalomanana of unconstitutional acts. But he couldnt do much to stop Ravalomanana. The big news was the acquiescence of the military as Ravalomanana appointed General Jules Mamizara as Minister of Defense. On March 5, Ravalomananas supporters began to take over government buildings in the capital. On March 7, 200 military officers swore allegiance to Ravalomananas regime. AFP quoted two general officers who said 90 percent of the military backs Ravalomanana. However, a late report said at least one elite unit still backed Ratsiraka.

 

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