Since his exile in South Africa after a coup in 2009 that outsed this democratically elected president, Marc Ravalomanana has tried many times to return to his homeland but was always prevented by the transition regime under Andry Rajoelina, better known as TGV.
I was among those who called for the return of Marc Ravalomnana in his country, and I've already wrote a blog about that here and here. But as far as I'm concerned, I want him to return home not to continue politics or seize the power by force but to save and rebuild his compagnies across the country which were looted and burnt during the coup led by Andry Rajoelina in 2009. I was a little surprised when I saw and heard him on TV adressing to his supporters around his house at Faravohitra, located on the highest hill of Antananarivo that "he is the current president when he left the country. And now as he is back home, it belongs to the Malagasy people to decide what must be done,"
In 2010, the former leader was sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment with hard labour for the massacre of about 30 protesters in February, 7th 2009.
Here is the speech ( french version here) given by the president of Madagascar Hery Rajaonarimampianana, few hours following the arrest of the former president:
Former President Marc Ravalomanana arrived this morning in Antananarivo. He thought it's not necessary to first inform the Government as he didn't see fit to ask the Administration authorization whatsoever.
Madagascar is a rule of law. I've already said either to the Malagasy people and to the whole of the international community that the return of Marc Ravalomanana must be included in the national reconciliation process and is performed only as part of that process.
Certainly, every citizen Malagasy has the right to travel freely. However, the case of Mr. Marc Ravalomanana is particular when it comes to his personal protection and public safety which require specific provisions
He did not call me, he did not contact me. His speech during the press conference he organized in the morning illustrate his intentions and real desire, including the lack of any consideration of the people's choice. He did not hesitate to push people in violating the law.
My dear compatriots,
We chose democracy, we must defend this democracy. We can not accept such slippages. I took my responsibilities as Head of State and continue to do so in order to protect public order. I thank those, here or abroad, who have already completely disowned and condemned the behavior of Mr Ravalomanana.
The Security Forces have decided to take responsibility. Mr. Marc Ravalomanana has not been arrested. He is not imprisoned. He was set against security threats of all kinds.
I'd like to tell all my attachment to national reconciliation. I worked about it for several months. It is in this context that I remain available to any discussions but in respect of the Malagasy people and social peace. And I called each other to stay calm and remain in the national unity to enable the Government to solve this problem with confidence.
In a nutshell, people are fed up of the poverty and political problems since 2009 and don't wish anymore troube in the country, what they want is PEACE and a true national reconciliation that lead into the development of the country. So what are we asking for is to call the governement to set up national reconciliation. Now, lets's wait and see the end of the event.