Page last updated at 12:13 GMT, Saturday, 31 January 2009

Mayor 'in charge' of Madagascar

Opposition leader Andry Rajoelina
Mayor Rajoelina has called for a transitional government to be set up

Madagascar's opposition leader Andry Rajoelina has proclaimed himself in charge of the country's affairs, following days of violent protests.

"Since the president and the government have not taken their responsibilities... I will run all national affairs as of today," he said.

The mayor of the capital, Antananarivo, is locked in a power struggle with President Marc Ravalomanana.

At least 44 people have died in the protests this week in the country.

Mayor Rajoelina's announcement came during a rally against President Ravalomanana in Antnananarivo.

Ransacked building in Antananarivo
Madagascar was rocked by riots and looting this week

"A request for the immediate resignation of the president will soon be filed with parliament," Mr Rajoelina told thousands of his supporters.

President Ravalomanana has so far not commented on the mayor's announcement.

The violence began last Monday, after tens of thousands of people took part in an opposition protest.

A small group attacked the headquarters of the state TV and radio stations and later looted shops belonging to President Ravalomanana.

At least one protester was shot dead, with the opposition blaming security forces.

The mayor earlier said he wanted those responsible for the deaths brought to justice before he enters into talks with Mr Ravalomanana. He also called for a transitional government to be set up.

On Tuesday, at least 25 bodies charred bodies were found in the burnt remains of a department store.

Print Sponsor

'Ghost town' call in Madagascar
29 Jan 09 |  Africa
Life on hold in Madagascar
29 Jan 09 |  Africa
Violence cancels Madagascar tie
28 Jan 09 |  African
Country profile: Madagascar
28 Jan 09 |  Country profiles

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific