Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



Madagascar: two colonels charged with attempting to "destabilise power

Madagascar: two colonels charged with attempting to "destabilise power
Security forces block a road as they clash with demonstrators   -  
Copyright © africanews
RIJASOLO/AFP or licensors


Two colonels in Madagascar's army have been charged and detained on suspicion of attempting to "contest" the presidential election and "destabilise the government" ahead of the recent poll, which was held in a tense atmosphere, the prosecutor's office and the gendarmerie said on Tuesday.

"Two Madagascan army colonels tried to bribe battalion commanders in the city of Antananarivo with the aim of inciting them to mutiny", Tahina Ravelomanana, head of the gendarmerie's criminal section, told AFP.

They acted "with a view to contesting the election and destabilising the government", he said.

In the weeks leading up to the first round of the election on 16 November, the two high-ranking officers offered the equivalent of nearly 25,000 euros to several army officials to incite soldiers to cause unrest.

These officials refused the bribe and reported the two men to the general staff, who lodged a complaint.

The two men were charged with "threatening state security", said Antananarivo prosecutor Narindra Rakotoniaina. "They were taken into custody on Monday and detained until their hearing on 16 January".

The incumbent president, Andry Rajoelina, was declared the winner of the first round of the presidential election by the electoral commission on Saturday.

The electoral process took place against a backdrop of high tension between the incumbent's camp and a group of around ten opposition candidates, who organised regular demonstrations in the capital for several weeks prior to the poll. 

Calling on voters not to go to the polls, they denounced government manoeuvres aimed at securing a second term for Mr Rajoelina. The opposition reported irregularities during the vote and said it did not recognise the results.

Two appeals to have the election annulled have been lodged with the High Constitutional Court, the country's highest court, which is responsible for announcing the final results by 4 December at the latest. Elected in 2018, Andry Rajoelina first came to power in 2009 following a mutiny that ousted former president Marc Ravalomanana. 

Since its independence from France in 1960, elections on the large Indian Ocean island have rarely been concluded without being accompanied by disputes or a crisis.

View more