Article published on the 2009-03-29 Latest update 2009-03-30 09:27 TU
A view of Mahamasina stadium in Antananarivo during the installation of Andry Rajoelina as Madagascar's President on 21 March 2009.
35,000 Madagascans assembled at a stadium in the capital, Antananarivo, on Sunday for a special church service in support of exiled President Marc Ravalomanana, who conceded leadership of the country earlier this month.
Organisers of the two hour service said it was not politically motivated, although some of the attendees said they showed up in support of their ousted President.
Ravalomanana, who is the deputy leader of the Reformed Church of Madagascar, which organised the service, is currently in Swaziland, ahead of talks on Monday with Sadc – the Southern African Development Community.
“Mr Ravalomanana came to Swaziland to have an audience with his majesty King Mswati III, the head of state of Swaziland, because his majesty is the head of the Sadc organ on peace and security,” says Musa Ndlangomandla, chief editor of the Swazi Observer.
And it is expected that Sadc will condemn the actions of Andry Rajoelina, who has replaced Ravalomanana as the island’s transitional leader.
“Sadc has been clear, that the way that Andry Rajoelina has taken power in Madagascar, is not according to the expectations, ways and spirit of Sadc, so the Sadc leaders are united on this,” Ndlangomandla told RFI. “We can expect some sort of sanctions,” he added, speaking from Mbabane.
On Saturday, more than 30 people were injured after police tried to break up Ravalomanana supporters who gathered in the capital.
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