The Madagascar crisis may have reached a major turning point: the beginning of the end of the President Marc Ravalomanana's regime. While there is still confusion about who is currently in charge, the army seems to have chosen to stand with former mayor Andry Rajoelina. The prime minister's office, as well as the national TV, are now under Rajoelina's control. Twitterers in Madagascar described events as they unfolded.
On Saturday, it started with Rajoelina's appointed prime minister, Monja Roindefo, walking into Prime Minister Charles Rabemananjara's offices and taking control of the building (fr) as reported by Virginie. He declared then that his camp was now in control of the country. Later in the morning, Re_Hita reports that Rajoelina, who has been in hiding for the past week, came to Place du Mai 13 and demanded that President Ravalomanana resign from office (fr).
A few hours later, malagasy website Topmada posted a statement by the government denying that the opposition was in control and stating that they are still planning to organize negotiations between the rival sides (fr).
At Place du 13 Mai, Jacques Sylla, leader of the parliament, took the stage with Rajoelina and called him the new leader of the nation (mg).
Barijaona wrote that Rajoelina denied during his speech that he wanted to end Ravalomanana's life and reiterated that he would not send the army into the presidential palace because he wanted to avoid a blood bath. Indeed, a report from Cyril Vanier at the palace states that a few hundred people have staged a sit-in in front of the palace to protect the president.
Thierry posted that an ultimatum was sent by Rajoelina for the president to resign within 4 hours.
In the meantime Virginie wrote that looters entered the presidential palace, currently vacant because Ravalomanana is at his residence in Iavoloha.
4 hours later, the ultimatum passed without Ravalomanana's resignation. Thierry reported that the army would not attack the presidential palace.
On Sunday, the Malagasy blogosphere waited with anxiety for further developments and were quite unsure as to who is really in charge.
Ravalomanana offered a referendum as a potential exit to the crisis and warned his followers that “the crisis is not only between Malagasy people” (fr).
Arinaina suspects that the national radio frequency has been pirated yet again.
Barijoana and Re_Hita watched the first television news on a now Rajoelina-controlled national television channel. Barijaona notices that even though it featured the speech by Ravalomanana and his refusal to quit, his call for a referendum was cut out of the speech (fr).
The news also featured former members of the presidential guards (who quit the day before) and who now have joined the army. DotMG reports that the former guard called for the removal, by force if necessary, of the civilians sitting in front of the palace. The former guards also reported the presence of mercenaries and armed civilians.