* Andrianirina accused in 2009 bomb plot
* He says charges are political, denounces Rajoelina
By Alain Iloniaina
ANTANANARIVO, Jan 12 A senior opposition
politician in Madagascar said on Tuesday that a warrant for his
arrest in connection with a string of foiled bomb attacks last
year was politically motivated.
Tensions are running high on the Indian Ocean island, which
had been drawing increasing foreign investor interest in its
oil, nickel, cobalt, gold and uranium deposits.
Fetison Andrianirina is a close ally of former President
Marc Ravalomanana, who was toppled by Andry Rajoelina in a
military-backed coup last March. He said he remained in the
capital Antananarivo and denied receiving a police summons.
"This is a political manoeuvre to get rid of me. Right now I
am at home," Andrianirina told Reuters by telephone.
He accused 35-year-old Rajoelina of behaving like a dictator
and cracking down on the opposition after the former DJ tore up
a series of internationally brokered power-sharing deals.
The president looks determined to forge ahead with his own
plans for elections without the backing of regional neighbours.
His administration alleged that Andrianirina, named one of
two co-presidents in a now seemingly obsolete accord, was
involved in a July 2009 bomb plot. At the time, Rajoelina called
the failed attack an act of terrorism. [ID:nLK141314]
Late on Monday, Justice Minister Christine Razanamahasoa
told state TV an arrest warrant was issued for Andrianirina.
"He did not react to a summons and so now we will go to the
next level," Razanamahasoa said.
Two people died planting one of the homemade bombs and
another 20 crude, unexploded devices were found across the
capital. Five close associates of Ravalomanana were arrested but
later released, although Andrianirina was not among them.
Madagascar's recently installed military prime minister,
Colonel Camille Vital, warned last week that he would act tough
on troublemaking opposition leaders and their supporters.