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Madagascar Issues Arrest Warrant for Opposition Candidate


Authorities in Madagascar have issued an arrest warrant for an opposition candidate in last Sunday's presidential election.

Officials Thursday ordered the arrest of Pety Rakotoniaina, mayor of the town of Fianarantsoa. Rakotoniaina is accused of misusing public property and making death threats against local authorities and police.

Authorities have been sent to the mayor's town, but have not apprehended him.

The mayor has a close relationship with a renegade army general, who staged an apparent pre-election coup attempt weeks before the vote.

Officials say the arrest warrant has nothing to do with the mayor's connection to the general.

Authorities have offered a $50,000 reward for the arrest of the renegade general, known as "General Fidy." He has been on the run since the apparent coup attempt in which one soldier was killed.

Mayor Rakotoniaina is far behind incumbent President Marc Ravalomanana in early election results.

Final results are not expected until the end of this month.

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