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National day of mourning in Madagascar. Former President Admiral Didier Ratsiraka died on Sunday at the age of 84 in the military hospital of Antananarivo. His relatives indicate that he succumbed to cardiac arrest while he had been hospitalized since Tuesday for a " <em>routine check-up due to a mild flu</em> ". Tributes to this emblematic figure of Malagasy political life have followed one another. </p><div> <p><em>With our correspondent in Antananarivo,</em><strong> Like Laetitia</strong>
In a blue suit, the serious face, the current head of state, who had offered his condolences in the morning on his Facebook page, appeared at the end of the afternoon on national television to pay tribute to the Red Admiral.
“He was a brilliant leader in political life. He was General Ramanantsoa’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and he was one of the youngest ministers at that time. What the Malagasy people admired about him is when he renegotiated the cooperation agreements between Madagascar and France in 1973. When he was President of the Republic, he carried and put forward the values and the culture Malagasy. His popularity and intelligence spread throughout the Indian Ocean, Africa and all over the world. It was he who took Madagascar out of the franc zone. Regardless of political parties and differences of opinion, everyone agrees that he has done a lot for the country. »
He rejected neo-colonialism and he led an all-out foreign policy, that is to say both with the countries of the West and also he opened Madagascar to the countries of the East.
Didier Ratsiraka, an anti-colonial president for the historian Lucile Rabearimanana
Former head of state Marc Ravalomanana, Didier Ratsiraka’s great rival in the 2001 presidential election, spoke of “His dismay and sadness on learning of the death of the former president. This contested election had led to a post-election crisis and clashes between their supporters, and then to the Admiral’s exile in France. Hery Rajaonarimampianina, the outgoing president, hailed him as a patriot and a man who worked for national reconciliation.
Tribute from his fellow travelers
It was also his fellow travelers from AREMA who paid tribute to him. The party loses its founder. Vincent Radanielson is one of the party’s leaders and has worked alongside Didier Ratsiraka for over 40 years
“The main legacy he leaves us is love of the country and the meaning of the word given. The AREMA party is still there and it is a party that is 45 years old now. We did a renovation. A new steering committee has just been elected and these are young people who are there. “
His nephew, Roland Ratsiraka recalls that he was also a statesman disinterested in any form of personal enrichment:
He did not prioritize personal enrichment. He built his first house in 2000. And he didn’t own a car. It was an inner wealth and a moral wealth.
Roland Ratsiraka, nephew of the former president pays tribute to Didier Ratsiraka
At 1 p.m., a Military Honor ceremony will be given to him in the Cour d’Honneur of the State Palace of Iavoloha, a palace he had built at the start of his first term. The former president will then be buried in the Mausoleum of the capital.
►Also read: Madagascar: the former head of state Didier Ratsiraka died at 84 years old
Source site www.rfi.fr