FOLLOWING contested changes to the country’s electoral laws, things are in danger of unravelling. That’s the warning the Institute of Security Studies issued to the Southern African Development Community last week regarding intensifying violence between supporters of two former presidents and the government of President Hery Rajaonarimampianina; two people were killed during protests in April.
The Pretoria-based research institute predicted “another full-scale crisis” unless a free election takes place with a level-playing field. The tension is fuelled by fears that popular ex-presidents Marc Ravalomanana and Andry Rajoelina could be barred from the race.
Amnesty International has urged the government to refrain from criminalising freedom of peaceful assembly and called on the opposition not to intimidate or harass citizens, including schoolchildren, into joining its demonstrations.