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2006 Malagasy coup d'état attempt

2006 Malagasy coup d'état attempt

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An alleged coup d'état
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

occurred in Madagascar
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa...

 on November 18, 2006, during the lead-up to the December 3 presidential election
Malagasy presidential election, 2006
Presidential elections were held in Madagascar on 3 December 2006. President Marc Ravalomanana, in office since he prevailed in a dispute over election results in 2002, ran for re-election...

, when retired army General Andrianafidisoa
Andrianafidisoa, popularly known as Fidy, is a retired military general of the Army of Madagascar and a former Director of the National Mines and Strategic Industries Office . He allegedly attempted a coup d'état against Malagasy President Marc Ravalomanana on November 18, 2006...

, also known as Fidy (and a previous Director General of OMNIS
OMNIS is the Malagasy government organisation, operating under the auspices of the Ministry of Energy, responsible for:...

), declared military rule
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...


According to judicial authorities, Andrianafidisoa was not allowed to run for president after failing to pay a 25 million ariary
Malagasy ariary
The ariary is the currency of Madagascar. It is subdivided into 5 iraimbilanja and is one of only two non-decimal currencies currently circulating . The names ariary and iraimbilanja derive from the pre-colonial currency, with ariary being the name for a silver dollar...

United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

11,400) deposit. Fidy had previously supported the incumbent
The incumbent, in politics, is the existing holder of a political office. This term is usually used in reference to elections, in which races can often be defined as being between an incumbent and non-incumbent. For example, in the 2004 United States presidential election, George W...

 President Marc Ravalomanana
Marc Ravalomanana
Marc Ravalomanana is a Malagasy politician who was the President of Madagascar from 2002 to 2009. A member of the Merina ethnic group, Ravalomanana served as Mayor of Antananarivo before becoming President in 2002...

 in his successful claim to the presidency in the wake of the disputed 2001 presidential election.

Coup events

General Fidy declared military rule and set up a base near the Ivato Airport
Ivato Airport
Ivato International Airport is an airport located in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar.-Airport expansion:In view of the African Union Summit of 2009 and the planned but later cancelled Francophonie Summit of 2010 being held in Madagascar, Ivato airport will begin renovations that will last...

 in the capital, Antananarivo
Antananarivo , formerly Tananarive , is the capital and largest city in Madagascar. It is also known by its French colonial shorthand form Tana....

. There were police reports of shooting early in the morning of November 18, and that one soldier was killed and another wounded. President Ravalomanana was returning from France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 during the incident and his plane was diverted from Antananarivo to Mahajanga
Mahajanga is a city and a district on the north-west coast of Madagascar.- City :The City of Mahajanga is the capital of the Boeny region. Population: 135,660 ....



On November 19, 2006 the government
Politics of Madagascar
Politics of Madagascar takes place in a framework of a semi-presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Madagascar is head of state and the Prime Minister of Madagascar is head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the...

 said it was searching for General Fidy, and dozens of soldiers were stationed outside his house. Secretary of State for Public Security, Lucien Victor Razakanirina, told Reuters
Reuters is a news agency headquartered in New York City. Until 2008 the Reuters news agency formed part of a British independent company, Reuters Group plc, which was also a provider of financial market data...

, "We issued a wanted poster for General Fidy for an attack on state security. We went to arrest General Fidy, but he was no longer at his house. He is very mobile." Fidy told Reuters via telephone, "I am alive and I am not in hiding. Soldiers and politicians have got the message." He would not disclose his location.

In a radio interview on November 20, Fidy, who had still not been captured, said that the idea that there had been a coup attempt was a misinterpretation, but acknowledged that he had called for Ravalomanana's resignation because he considered the government to be unconstitutional. On November 22, Fidy received the backing of most of the 14 presidential candidates, who said he was defending the constitution and the interests of the nation. After the elections were held on December 3, the government unsuccessfully attempted to arrest one of these candidates, Pety Rakotoniaina
Pety Rakotoniaina
Pety Rakotoniaina is a Malagasy politician. He is the President of the Union association and the Mayor of Fianarantsoa.Born in Ikalamavony, Rakotoniaina studied at the University of Fianarantsoa Madagascar...

, although it denied that it sought to arrest him because of his support for Fidy.

A $50,000 reward was offered for Fidy's arrest. Razakanirina said that Fidy was taken by surprise and captured on December 12 at a hotel, and that he did not resist. During his trial, he and his lawyers argued that he had not attempted a coup, but had instead attempted to alert Ravalomanana to the situation of the armed forces. He was sentenced to four years in prison on February 2, 2007.