OPPOSITION PROTESTORS TAKE TO THE STREETS AGAIN

MADAGASCAR: VIOLENCE/SNA/AGENCIES/24/4/18 SABANews 1

Madagascar turns violent after electoral law changes (Pic. Agencies)

ANTANANARIVO – SADC is witnessing yet another mass uprising against a sitting president and electoral reforms, as opposition supporters have clashed with the police in MADAGASCAR.

SEYCHELLES News Agency quotes media reports as saying thousands have this MONDAY taken to the streets to protest against the president and a deadly crackdown by security forces.

It says yesterday protests come after armed police units reportedly killed TWO people and injured at least 16 others on SATURDAY in the capital ANTANANARIVO.

President HERY RAJAONARIMAMPIANINA has denounced the weekend demonstrations by the about ONE-THOUSAND protestors as an attempted coup.

MONDAY has seen large crowds gathering to honour the victims parading quietly past the coffins of the TWO deceased placed in MAY 13 Square, the symbolic heart of the capital.

The SEYCHELLES national news agency says security forces had been blocking access to the city centre by SUNDAY morning, but later retreated to allow protesters to gather peacefully.

It says Defence Minister General BENI XAVIER RASOLOFONIRINA has told reporters they left to avoid violent clashes, which could cause great damage among the MALAGASY.

However, he says protesters should know the police will never accept any state institution set up outside the election process, because such developments are against the Constitution.

The MALAGASY opposition supporters have been protesting against new electoral laws they claim are likely to block some candidates from standing in the upcoming presidential vote.

Media reports say MADAGASCAR may hold general elections in late NOVEMBER or in DECEMBER, although President RAJAONARIMAMPIANINA, elected in 2013, has not yet revealed whether or not he will stand.

TWO former heads of State, MARC RAVALOMANANA, who ruled from 2002 to 2009, and ANDRY RAJOELINA, who removed Mr RAVALOMANANA in a coup, say they are contesting.

They were barred from running in 2013 and their parties have been involved in the current protests, while both leaders attended the MONDAY gathering to honour the SATURDAY victims.

Disturbances in MADAGASCAR come as SADC has witnessed the fall of TWO presidents, ROBERT MUGABE in ZIMBABWE and JACOB ZUMA in SOUTH AFRICA; who both were pushed out due to poor governance./Sabanews/cam

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