Article published on the 2009-03-25 Latest update 2009-03-25 14:03 TU
A farmer wearing a t-shirt bearing a picture of Marc Ravalomanana next to a rice paddy outside Antananarivo, at the weekend
A prerecorded message from Marc Ravalomanana was heard at a rally in Madagascar's capital Antanarivo on Wednesday. He described his removal from power as a coup and asked supporters to "save the nation".
In Madagascar protests took place on Wednesday for the third day running, as crowds demonstrated against Andry Rajoelina's takeover.
Ravalomanana said in his message that Madagascar had been "on the road to development" and that currently "they are destroying our country with their coup".
On Tuesday the same number gathered in the capital where they sang songs and waved banners from the 2006 campaign of Ravalomanana.
Ravalomanana on Tuesday met with Swaziland's leader King Mswati III. Clifford Mamba, principal secretary in the Swazi Foreign Ministry, said he expected the former leader to "brief his majesty on the developments in his home country".
Mamba said he did not know if Ravalomanana would remain for next Monday's meeting of heads of state, that has been called by Southern African Development Community (Sadc).
"The Southern African Development Community is, for the first time in its history, considering sanctions against one of its own members," says correspondent Alex Duval Smith.
Sadc leaders are to meet to discuss Madagascar.
Duval Smith says the heads of state were probably relieved that the question of two billion dollars of financial support for Zimbabwe's recently-formed unity government had been pushed back on Monday's agenda.
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