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President Ravalomanana could be on his way out

Article published on the 2009-03-17 Latest update 2009-03-17 11:52 TU

Soldiers on the streets of the capital.(Photo: Reuters)

Soldiers on the streets of the capital.
(Photo: Reuters)

Madagascar's army stormed a presidential palace country's capital Antananarivo Monday and demanded the resignation of President Marc Ravalomanana, after opposition Andry Rajoelina Monday called for his arrest.


"We seized the presidency to hasten Ravalomanana's departure," 
army Colonel André Andriarijaona told the AFP news agency.

Opposition leader Andry Rajoelina claimed he had control of the army as early as last week. On Monday he called for the arrest of Ravalomanana on grounds of high treason.

The palace was vacant at the time of the siege and no casualties were reported.

Ravalomanana was believed to be holed up in a second palace on the outskirts of the capital. He said Rajoelina's claim to power and is illegitimate.

The African Union on Monday said it would condemn any unconstitutional change of power.

But Ravalomanan's seven-year reign as the country's leader could end as Rajoelina appears to gain more support.

The army appears to be on the side of Rajoelina and that Ravalomanana could be on his way out, reporter Cyril Vanier says.

"There's little indication that the army really is divided," Vanier told RFI. "The national police and military police have rallied behind."

Q+A: Cyril Vanier, France24

17/03/2009 by Matthew Kay

Rajoelina has denied the events amount to a coup.