Recently the democratically elected President of Madagascar, Marc Ravalomanana, resigned from office and handed over the government to the military. He had essentially been under siege for two months as a result of actions by the former mayor of the Capitol, Andry Rajoelina. While mayor, he orchestrated demonstrations against the president, many of which erupted in riots and over 100 people were killed. Rajoelina proclaimed that he was running a parallel government and declared himself president. That tactic was unsuccessful although he did succeed in creating confusion among the Madagascar electorate. After resigning as mayor he continued his actions against the president and a few days before the President resigned, the military occupied one of the palaces. After Ravalomanana resigned, the military promptly turned over the government to Rajoelina, completely denying the citizens a right to a democratically elected government. Disaster may be on the horizon as not all of the military supports the former mayor. Will we be watching as another Africa state dissolves into instability?

The African Union (AU) resoundingly rejected the new government as illegal, suspended Madagascar from AU and strongly urged Rajoelina to call for elections. The United States also suspended some aid to the country. France, however, has recognized the new illegal government and has announced it will do nothing different with regard to its business and political relations in Madagascar. This is another example that shows when developed nations are presented with the choice of supporting democracy in a developing country or protecting their investments, they will opt for protecting their money every time.

Ravalomanana announced on Thursday that he had never resigned but was forced to make the announcement and then flee for the safety of his family. And so, the chaos continues.

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