As September 6, the day of the Malagasy Parliamentary Elections nears, campaigning by the two main Parties - the all - powerful Social Democratic Party (PSD), and the Congress for the Independence of Madagascar (AKFM) - is reaching its climax.
GV people waling in street
CU PAN from PSD sign (Ruling Party) to delegates
SV members of the PARTY, PAN to speaker M. Ramalanjaona speaking
SV PAN crowds
SV speaker PAN to delegates
CU Opposition election posters the AKFM Party & showing candidates names ( 4 shots )
GV PAN people leave building and walk along streets
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Background: As September 6, the day of the Malagasy Parliamentary Elections nears, campaigning by the two main Parties - the all - powerful Social Democratic Party (PSD), and the Congress for the Independence of Madagascar (AKFM) - is reaching its climax.
The PSD has been in power under President Philibert Tsiranana since 1956 with 104 seats while the AKFM - a left-wing party - has three members in the National Assembly. Currently no other party holds any seats in the Assembly.
The September 6 elections will be the first staged in the country since 1965. The Malagasy Republic is one of the few independent African territories where Opposition parties are legal.
There has been a considerable amount of apprehension about the possible behaviour of supporters of both parties during the latter stages of the campaigning, and recently it was agreed that party leaders would make television appeals for calm to their supporters.
However, following some earlier disturbances, the electoral campaign has been peaceful enough, although one newspaper, Marosaka ( Independent Opposition) was suspended from publication for 15 days following articles considered defamatory by the authorities.
But, in a Radio Madagascar broadcast least week, President Tsiranana threatened to execute agitators. At that time he said: "I have never executed anyone but, in the name of high interests of the nation, I will not hesitate to use all the methods at my disposal - even capital punishment, to bring respect for order".
The President further warned unnamed foreigners who he said had arrived in the country to "prepare for revolution". Following this statement the AKFM demanded the expulsion of foreigners out to spread disorder in the country. It was further demanded that the authorities begin an immediate enquiry into Maoist agitation.
The AKFM, while proving a vibrant and vociferous opposition, has only one stronghold - the constituency of Tananarive Town. But even here, both they and the PSD face a challenge from Dr. Joseph Raseta, a former Deputy and a leader of the insurrection against French Colonisation in 1947.