Madagascar: High Constitutional Court to Review Arrest of Opposition Deputy Fetra

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The arrest of opposition deputy Fetra Ralambozafimbololona has triggered a legal challenge before Madagascar’s High Constitutional Court. Ralambozafimbololona, leader of the parliamentary group TIM, was detained on November 8, 2023, in Antananarivo during a demonstration organized by the “Collectif des 11,” a coalition of candidates opposed to the upcoming presidential election. His arrest, deemed unlawful by his legal representative, has prompted the tribunal correctionnel to refer the matter to the High Constitutional Court on Tuesday, February 6.

Legal proceedings have been suspended pending the High Constitutional Court’s ruling, which is expected within one month, addressing the “exception of unconstitutionality” raised by the defense.

The defense’s argument revolves around the alleged violation of Article 73 of the supreme law, citing procedural irregularities in Ralambozafimbololona’s arrest.

According to its second clause, the leader of the TIM group in the National Assembly was supposed to be shielded by parliamentary immunity at the time of the incident. However, his sudden apprehension outside the Mahamasina Sports Palace bypassed the required procedure, recalls attorney Eloi Ratefimahefamijoro.

Ralambozafimbololona, known for his involvement with the Collectif des 11 during the presidential campaign, faces charges of inciting participation in an unauthorized demonstration. The verdict of his trial is scheduled for March 12.

On November 8, ten other individuals were arrested alongside the deputy, accused of unlawful assembly and violence against law enforcement. On Tuesday, each of them received a ten-month suspended prison sentence and a fine of 500,000 ariarys, also suspended.


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