Malagasy President Hery Rajaonarimampianina has said a weekend opposition protest rally in Antananarivo pointed to a coup plot.
The rally was held in front of the capital Antananarivo city hall on Saturday and was violently dispersed by security agencies.
President Rajaonarimampianina warned that his government would not tolerate any individuals or groups inciting hatred.
“I warn any trouble plotters and any persons inciting hatred that they will not be allowed to shed the blood of the innocent,” he said in an address on Sunday evening.
“The government will take its responsibilities accordingly.”
Demonstrators from the camps associated with former leaders Marc Ravalomanana and Andry Rajoelina, were protesting against new electoral laws, they say were designed to lock out their candidates from the race due later this year.
They urged President Rajaonarimampianina and his government to immediately pack and go.
An MP allied to Mr Ravalomanana, Mr Guy Rivo Randrianarisoa, said calling for the immediate resignation of the president did not amount to plotting a coup.
“As MPs, we have the possibility to remove them by lawful means if necessary,” he stressed.
Deaths and injuries were reported from the violent clashes on Saturday.
The private-owned TV Viva showed four bodies of demonstrators being transported to the Joseph Ravoahangy Andrianavalona hospital.
One of them was of a woman.
The police reportedly fired live bullets and teargas canisters at demonstrators.
The European Union, politicians and civil society organisations strongly condemned the violence.
“The European ambassadors deplore the use of violence,” reads a release from the EU office in Antananarivo.
The EU reiterated its commitment to credible, transparent and inclusive elections.
Prime Minister Olivier Mahafaly Solonandrasana and the Senate boss Rivo Rakotovao have all called for dialogue.
The opposition has vowed to continue the protests until President Rajaonarimampianina and his government quit office.
The La Vérité reported on Monday that 72 opposition MPs could be arrested in the coming days.