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Madagascar: At least 16 injured in opposition protests as tensions rise ahead presidential

Three men ride their motorbike past a fire as demonstrators clash with police on their way to an opposition rally in Antananarivo, on November 4, 2023.   -  
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**At least sixteen people were injured Wednesday in new demonstratons that turned violent at the Stade des Bareas Antananarivo, Madagascar's capital.****Among the injured were four policemen.**The latest incident comes as Madagascar reels from tensions ahead of the November 16 presidential election.

Wednesday’s umpteenth march by the opposition coalition 'Collectif des candidats' saw the opposition lawmaker for Antananarivo's fifth constituency, Fetra Ralam/boza/fimbolo/lona, arrested for questioning by the police.

The protests by the coalition of opposition candidates taking part in the upcoming elections, are being held to denounce what they have called “an illegitimate electoral process".

Thirteen candidates are running for next week's election including the incumbent president Andry Rajoelina who is seeking a second term. But things seem to have gotten to a rocky start.

Last month the Constitutional Court dismissed appeals to have Preident Andry Rajoelina's candidacy declared void over his dual French nationality, sparking opposition anger.

Rajoelina, 49, resigned last month in line with the constitution in order to run for re-election.

The president of the Senate, Herimanana Razafimahefa, was supposed to take over but declined for "personal reasons", leaving the task to a "collegial government" headed by the prime minister, an ally of Rajoelina.

The move was accepted by the country's top court, which also dismissed appeals to have Rajoelina's candidacy declared void over his dual French nationality, sparking the anger of the opposition.

The 11 opposition candidates have since led almost daily, unauthorised marches in the capital, which have been met with a heavy police presence and tear gas.

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