Coastweek website



Madagascar’s president describes opposition-
led demonstration as coup attempt   

ANTANANARIVO Madagascar (Xinhua) -- Madagascar’s president Hery Rajaonarimampianina on Sunday described an opposition-led demonstration on Saturday in the capital, Antananarivo, as a coup attempt.

“Madagascar is a country respecting democracy, but what happened on Saturday is really a coup,” Rajaonarimampianina said in an address to the nation.

The government said at least one person died and 17 others were injured in clashes between demonstrators and the armed forces, but opposition leaders on Sunday put the death toll at six.

Demonstrators were protesting a new electoral law that the opposition said would exclude many of their candidates and give too much advantage to the ruling party in the upcoming elections.

“All of us should accept that the coup is never a good solution for Madagascar,” Rajaonarimampianina said.

He said the armed forces will defend the democratic system in Madagascar and defend people’s life and properties.

The president said he is open to dialogue for the interest of the country.

He said he will continue to work for Madagascar’s development and to tackle economic problems facing the country.

Since its independence in 1960, Madagascar experienced four cyclical political crises, in 1972, 1991, 2002 and 2009.



One killed, 17 injured during opposition demonstrations in Madagascar

By Eric Laperozy and Holitiana Randrianasolo ANTANANARIVO Madagascar (Xinhua) -- One was shot dead, while 17 others were injured during opposition demonstrations on Saturday in Antananarivo, capital of Madagascar, Madagascar’s Prime minister Olivier Mahafaly Solonandrasana said.

However, one of the leaders the demonstration, Hanitra Razafimanantsoa, a parliament member supporting former president Marc Ravalomanana, said that four were killed, including two demonstrators shot dead and two babies suffocated by tear gas at the children hospital nearby the scene.

Some 73 parliament members, who opposed to the adoption of electoral law at the parliament, planned to report to their followers a complaint about this electoral law at the May 13 square, a famous venue where opposition overthrew the power in 1972, 1991, 2002 and 2009.

However, the government banned this demonstration. A Xinhua reporter who was on spot saw that the armed forces sealed off the May 13 square, threw tear gas to demonstrators who already filled all roads to square.

Demonstrators resisted the tear gas and pushed the armed forces by throwing stones. The armed troops gave up and let thousands of demonstrators join the May 13 square.

Three hours after, the armed forces came back to May 13 square, but this time they secured the demonstrators to avoid smudge.

During the clash in the morning, Xinhua reporter saw one of the demonstrators shot dead on spot, another was seriously injured after he was hit by bullet on the head, and others were injured of tear gas firing.

Angry demonstrators set a police 4x4 pick-up on fire which remained at May 13 square.

Some people also tried to rob the mobile phone stores owned by a parliament member who support Madagascar’s president Hery Rajaonarimamianina but fortunately the store owner already emptied it before the demonstration.

Late Saturday, Razafimanantsoa said the demonstration will continue on Sunday with funeral ritual of the four people killed during the demonstration.

“The demonstration will continue again on Monday to fight against corruption, we will continue it until the dismissal of president Hery Rajaonarimampianina,” Razafimanantsoa said asking former president Marc Ravalomanana, former transition president Andry Rajoelina, the church council, all opposition parties in the country, the students and public servants to join on Monday.

President Rajaonarimampianina is abroad since Thursday night, according to the presidency.

Prime Minister Solonandrasana called for dialog with opposition and appeasement from the people. “Do not make violence as durable solution for our country. This is not good for Madagascar.”

The president of the senate Rivo Rakotovo, who is the president of ruling party Hery Vaovaon’i Madagasikara (HVM) or New Force of Madagascar, also urged appeasement. He said that only dialog between politicians can resolve the problem. “Road demonstration is not for Madagascar which is still weak on economy,” he said.

These 73 parliament members include those who support former president Marc Ravalomanana, those who supported the former transition president Andry Rajoelina, and other parliament members who opposed to the current regime.

This is the fifth cyclical political crisis in Madagascar since its independence in 1960 after that of 1972, 1991, 2002, and 2009.

The political crisis in Madagascar in 2009 saw Rajoelina opposing Ravalomanana, with many of their followers killed. But 9 years later, Ravalomanana and Rajoelina joined forces to overthrow Rajaonarimampianina, who was the candidate supported by Rajoelina in 2013.

Remember: you read it first at !


Please contact

MOMBASA - GULSHAN JIVRAJ, Mobile: 0722 775164 Tel: (+254) (41) 2230130 /
Wireless: 020 3549187 e-mail:

NAIROBI - ANJUM H. ASODIA, Mobile: 0733 775446 Tel: (+254) (020) 3744459

    © Coastweek Newspapers Limited               Tel: (+254) (41) 2230130  |  Wireless: 020 3549187  |  E-mail: