Politicians held in Madagascar

2010-11-12 12:50

Antananarivo - A lawyer says police have detained three politicians who have called for boycotting a constitutional referendum scheduled next week in Madagascar.

Hanitra Razafimanantsoa says the three detained on Thursday include his client, the top aide in Madagascar to ousted and exiled President Marc Ravalomanana, and leaders of other parties who oppose coup leader Andry Rajoelina's November 17 referendum. They will be held at least until a November 23 hearing, after the scheduled vote.

Razafimanantsoa says they are accused of joining an anti-referendum march. Police clashed with the marchers on Wednesday.

Rajoelina's proposal for a referendum followed by elections was a bid for legitimacy. The former disc jockey has been internationally isolated since ousting Ravalomanana in 2009.