Madagascar’s former President Didier Ratsiraka, who had been dubbed the “Red Admiral” by the marine officials for their communist policies, died Sunday morning at 84.
Ratsiraka had been hospitalized earlier this week with flu. From 1975 to 91 and again from 1997 to 2002, he was president of Indian Ocean island.
“The Malagasy have lost an illustrious patriot,” Rajoelina said.
Deeply saddened to hear about the passing away of the former President Didier Ratsiraka today morning. His immense contribution to strengthening India-Madagascar relations will be fondly remembered. My deepest condolences to his family, the people and Govt. of Madagascar. pic.twitter.com/NcRpLJCvOY
— Ambassador Abhay Kumar (@AmbassadorAbhay) March 28, 2021
This anti-colonial revolutionary and “commander” Fidel Castro, who instigated the “Malagasy communist revolution,” which turned out to be an economic and social fiasco, left a heritage of “Malagasy” education and names of the cities.
Between 1991 and 1992, the protest campaign forced him to give up authority and accept his opposition leader Albert Zafy’s liberal transition. The leader was his successor.
In 1997, the “Red Admiral” regained power but was again expelled after the presidential race.
The protests and armed clashes between Didier Ratsirakas supporters and his new opponent, mayor of Antananarivo, Marc Ravalomanana, broke out between December 2001 and the world’s streets in July 2002 after the disputed election.
Nous venons de perdre l'un des hommes d'État les plus charismatiques du pays.
Le seul et unique Akainu de Madagascar.
R.I.P Didier Ratsiraka pic.twitter.com/EMTeb0bTEM
— Cioccolata 🇲🇬 (@Vetklott) March 28, 2021
In nine years, Didier Ratsiraka has been pushed into exile in France, but eventually, Mr. Ravalomanana has crowned the winner.
In 2003, the deported president was absentia sentenced to 10 years of service for “state-fund embezzlement” and five years in jail for breaching State protection. His sentences had, however, been reversed in 2009.
He has been on the political scene in Malagasy for the past decade, invited to comment on the TV daily.