Date set for Malagasy parliamentary polls

2010-12-20 13:16

Antananarivo - The government of Madagascar has set parliamentary elections for March 16, according to the daily L'Express de Madagascar on Monday.

They would be the first parliamentary elections in the island nation since President Andry Rajoelina came to power in a March 2009 coup. Presidential elections have been set for May 04.

The controversial Independent National Election Commission, which has come under heavy criticism for incomplete voter rolls, has vowed to update those lists in time for the March poll.

Madagascar's voters in November overwhelmingly approved a constitutional referendum - boycotted by the opposition - that lowers the age for presidential candidates to 35. Rajoelina is 36.

The referendum prompted a short-lived and ultimately unsuccessful coup attempt by a group of 16 officers and their supporters.