Madagascar Media House Set Ablaze as Election Ruling Nears

(Bloomberg) -- A building housing an opposition-affiliated media group was looted and burned down on Sunday night ahead of a Constitutional Court ruling on a petition challenging the result of last month’s runoff election.

Arsonists broke into RLM Communication and set the building on fire using Molotov cocktails, according to Harry Laurent Rahajason, a shareholder of the group that’s also been running election communications for presidential candidate Marc Ravalomanana. They stole laptops, hard disks and sensitive documents, he said by phone.

RLM’s owner, Mbola J. Rajaonah, backs Ravalomanana who has challenged the vote that saw Andry Rajoelina emerge as winner. Ravalomanana claims the ballot was rigged and is demanding a review by the Constitutional Court, which is scheduled to give its ruling on Tuesday. His supporters have taken to the streets of Antananarivo, the capital, clashing with security forces.

Rajoelina has sued three of RLM’s editors for alleged defamation, while Prime Minister Christian Ntsay has also filed a suit against Rajaonah and Rahajason.

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