Madagascar Prez Hands Country to Military

Troops stormed palace yesterday
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 17, 2009 9:06 AM CDT
Opposition leader Andry Rajoelina parades through the streets of Antananarivo, Madagascar, today after taking control of the seat of power at the downtown presidential office.   (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
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(Newser) – Madagascar's president has handed over power to the nation's military, Reuters reports, following a months-long power struggle that culminated in a military raid on Marc Ravalomanana’s palace yesterday and the opposition's seizure of his offices today. "He came to the conclusion this is best for the country. He behaved as a statesman," said a presidential spokesman.

Ravalomanana himself announced the move in a radio address, but handed power to a Navy admiral, rather than opposition leader Andry Rajoelina. Opposition leaders, meanwhile, said Rajoelina would lead the country in the interim, but it's unclear whether the military will accept the 34-year-old former deejay.