Opposition protests ahead presidential elections

Madagascar scaled

On Wednesday, during new demonstrations in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, at least 16 people were injured, including four policemen, in a turn of events that became violent. This recent incident adds to the existing tensions in Madagascar ahead of the November 16 presidential election. From October, citizens of Madagascar took part in demonstrations, as Madagascar has been shaken for weeks by a fierce electoral battle between the government and the candidates who will oppose incumbent president Andry Rajoelina at the ballot box.

The protests were organised by the opposition coalition “Collectif des candidats”, a coalition of opposition candidates participating in the upcoming elections. Their aim is to condemn what they perceive as an “illegitimate electoral process.”

Thirteen candidates, including the incumbent president Andry Rajoelina seeking a second term, are competing in next week’s election. However, the situation appears to have encountered significant challenges.

Last month, the Constitutional Court rejected appeals to invalidate President Andry Rajoelina’s candidacy due to his dual French nationality, triggering opposition discontent.

In the last week, two of the candidates were arrested by the police. Jean Jacques Ratsietison, an economist and founder of an association defending the purchasing power of the Malagasy people, was arrested in the beginning of the week, and later released. The charges against him were acts of violence and an attempted coup. Roland Ratsiraka, another candidate of the collective, was also detained for a couple of hours, accused for organising demonstrations, even though the demonstrations were banned.

 

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