Madagascar official election result due after protests

Madagascar is set to confirm the result of its presidential election on Tuesday, after Andry Rajoelina was declared the victor in the vote count and supporters of his bitter rival took to the streets crying foul.

In the run-off vote on December 19, Rajoelina scored 55% of the ballot and Marc Ravalomanana won 44%, according to the final results.

Ravalomanana lodged complaints over alleged irregularities with the Constitutional Court, which will announce the official winner on Tuesday.

Last week riot police in the Indian Ocean island used tear gas to break up one of several protests by thousands of Ravalomanana supporters in the capital Antananarivo.

The two rivals, both former presidents, were banned from running in the 2013 election as part of an agreement to end recurring crises that have rocked Madagascar since it gained independence from France in 1960.


The 2018 two-round election was beset by allegations of fraud from both sides, and a contested result may raise the risk of renewed political instability.

European Union and African Union election observers said they had not seen evidence of fraud.

Fiercely personal duel

Rajoelina and Ravalomanana have been locked in a fiercely personal duel for power, coming first and second in the preliminary election in November.

Last month, Ravalomanana told AFP at his campaign headquarters that he suspected “massive fraud”.

Ravalomanana, 69, was first elected president in 2002 but was forced to resign seven years later by violent demonstrations supported by Rajoelina, then the mayor of Antananarivo.

Rajoelina, now 44, was installed by the army and ruled until 2014. He is a former events planner and successful entrepreneur with slick communication skills.

Both candidates spent lavishly on campaigning, with promises and handouts distributed liberally to voters, who are among the poorest in Africa.

Madagascar is well known for its vanilla and precious redwood but is one of the world’s poorest nations, with 76% of people living in extreme poverty.

READ MORE: Vanilla fever: Fear sours the sweet scent of Madagascar’s success

The island, which is also famed for its unique wildlife, is dependent on foreign aid and burdened by political friction.

Outgoing president Hery Rajaonarimampianina was eliminated in the first round after collecting less than 9% of the vote.

His attempts to change the electoral laws this year backfired, sparking nearly three months of sometimes violent protests.

The demonstrators forced Rajaonarimampianina to accept a “consensus” government tasked with organising the election.

© Agence France-Presse

Subscribe to the M&G for R2 a month

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

And for this weekend only, you can become a subscriber by paying just R2 a month for your first three months.

Agency
External source

Related stories

African leaders must continue to press for talks: Ethiopia is too big to fail

The conflict in Ethiopia could spill over into the entire Horn of Africa region. AU and regional leaders need to step up their efforts to de-escalate the situation

The Africa investment protocol: a prickly pear for Africans

The Africa Continental Free Trade Area is set to be launched in January 2021. But the secretariat still needs to ensure that investors are adequately protected

Editorial: Cyril must embrace his AU role

There are several African conflicts that require urgent attention

Women are entitled to own land

Too many laws and customs in too many African countries still treat women as minors

The challenges of delivering a Covid-19 vaccine in Africa requires a new approach

It is imperative that we train healthcare workers and participate in continent-wide collaboration

We should not ignore Guinea’s constitutional coup

Citizens have for a year protested against the president seeking a third term in office despite a two-term limit. Many have been killed — and 90 more people died in this week’s crackdown
Advertising

Subscribers only

ANC: ‘We’re operating under conditions of anarchy’

In its latest policy documents, the ANC is self-critical and wants ‘consequence management’, yet it’s letting its members off the hook again

Q&A Sessions: ‘I think I was born way before my...

The chief executive of the Estate Agency Affairs Board and the deputy chair of the SABC board, shares her take on retrenchments at the public broadcaster and reveals why she hates horror movies

More top stories

DRC: Tshisekedi and Kabila fall out

The country’s governing coalition is under strain, which could lead to even more acrimony ahead

Editorial: Crocodile tears from the coalface

Pumping limited resources into a project that is predominantly meant to extend dirty coal energy in South Africa is not what local communities and the climate needs.

Klipgat residents left high and dry

Flushing toilets were installed in backyards in the North West, but they can’t be used because the sewage has nowhere to go

Nehawu leaders are ‘betraying us’

The accusation by a branch of the union comes after it withdrew from a parliamentary process
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…