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
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.
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,”
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.
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
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
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
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.
set a police 4x4 pick-up on fire which remained at May 13
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.
Razafimanantsoa said the demonstration will continue on Sunday
with funeral ritual of the four people killed during the
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.
Rajaonarimampianina is abroad since Thursday night, according to
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.