Madagascan female activists are asking that the right of women to participate directly in politics be included in a new draft of the country’s Constitution, so that there can be 30 percent of female politicians in parliament by 2012 and 50 percent by 2015.

Madagascar 50th Independence Day Anniversary is on June 26th and the festivities are already underway . In spite of a star-studded line-up of international entertainers, the atmosphere is not exactly festive because of the political uncertainty and the economic hardship that has resulted from the 18 month-long crisis

The EU will extend next week the suspension of 600 million euros of development aid to Madagascar for 12 more months for failing to return to democracy after a March 2009 coup, a draft statement showed. The European Union, the island's largest donor, suspended the aid last year in response to the army-backed overthrow of Marc Ravalomanana's government.

Calm has been restored after clashes in the Madagascar capital Antananarivo between rival security forces. Madagascar's army and police exchanged gunfire with a rebel police faction. The faction has retreated to its barracks and is trying to negotiate a way out, a military officer says. Madagascar has been in political turmoil since opposition leader Andry Rajoelina assumed power in January 2009, with military backing.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called on the government of Madagascar to investigate a Saturday raid on the opposition radio station Fréquence Plus that resulted in the arrest of an opposition leader while he was on a live radio programme.