REGIME CHANGE

Madagascar President Resigns

Unsettling news from Madagascar, where a day after soldiers stormed his offices, Marc Ravalomanana resigned as president and handed power of the African nation to the military. The move was aimed at empowering loyalists, but the army appears to be backing opposition leader Andry Rajoelina, who has already put together a transitional government, The Guardian reports. Ravalomanana’s resignation follows weeks of political unrest that killed more than 100 people. Ravalomanana had proposed a referendum on his presidency after the army was ordered to open fire on a political demonstration and killed 28 protesters, but Rajoelina, a former disc jockey who was fired as the capital’s mayor in February, refused the referendum. Instead the opposition issued a warrant for Ravalomana’s arrest, accusing him of violating the constitution and hiring mercenaries to prop up his reign.