Madagascar’s High Constitutional Court has declared former leader Andry Rajoelina as the winner of the country’s bitterly contested presidential election. Rejecting all complaints filed over the results, the court on Tuesday said Rajoelina won with more than 55 percent of the vote in the Indian Ocean island nation’s runoff election last month. Rajoelina’s main challenger, former President Marc Ravalomanana, received more than 44 percent, the court said. Just over 48 percent of the country’s 10 million registered voters cast their ballots in the vote.
Madagascan security forces have fired tear gas to break up a protest by supporters of losing presidential candidate Marc Ravalomanana, who claims he was denied victory in last month’s election because of fraud. In the runoff vote on December 19, Ravalomanana won 44 percent against Andry Rajoelina’s 55 percent, according to official results. Thousands of Ravalomanana’s supporters gathered in the centre of the capital Antananarivo on Wednesday but were quickly dispersed by police using tear gas, according to an AFP reporter at the scene. “We came to erect a giant screen projecting anomalies in the second-round election but we were fired at with tear gas,” Hanitra Razafimanantsoa, a lawmaker from Ravalomanana’s party, told the media.
Thousands of opposition supporters took to the streets in the capital of Madagascar on Saturday to protest against the victory of ex-president Andry Rajoelina in last week’s elections. Around 2 000 supporters of defeated candidate Marc Ravalomanana gathered in the May 13 Square in the heart of Antananarivo, demanding a recount of the vote in the Indian Ocean island state. The protest, the first in a series of planned demonstrations, came as the country’s top court reviews a petition filed by Ravalomanana challenging Rajoelina’s win because of fraud allegations.
Both candidates in Madagascar’s presidential election have claimed victory in the fierce battle for power in the Indian Ocean island. Andry Rajoelina and Marc Ravalomanana — who have each held the top job in the impoverished country before — declared themselves winners in the run-off which analysts warned was likely to draw claims of fraud. “Change is coming tomorrow, and today you can say that ‘Papa’ is elected,” Ravalomanana told supporters on Wednesday night at his headquarters, using his nickname. “Whatever happens, only one thing counts, we will win.” However, his rival Rajoelina said: “I am sure I’m going to win but we’ll wait for the official results.” The contenders, who came a close first and second in November’s first-round election, were both banned from running in the 2013 ballot as part of an agreement to end recurring crises that have rocked Madagascar since independence from France in 1960.
Madagascans head to the ballot box on Wednesday in a run-off election between two rivals who have waited years to come face-to-face in a fiercely personal battle for power in the Indian Ocean island. The clash between Marc Ravalomanana and Andry Rajoelina could revive instability in the impoverished country if the result is rejected by the losing candidate or fraud allegations are widespread, analysts warn. The two contenders came a close first and second, far ahead of their competitors, in the preliminary vote in November. Ravalomanana and Rajoelina were both banned from running in the 2013 vote as part of an agreement to end recurring crises that have rocked Madagascar since independence from France in 1960. In the first round, Rajoelina won 39 percent compared with 35 percent for Ravalomanana. Both camps alleged they were victims of fraud and cheating.
Madagascar heads to the polls on Wednesday in a crunch head-to-head election between two arch-rivals who have dominated political life on poverty-stricken Indian Ocean island for years. The showdown between Marc Ravalomanana and Andry Rajoelina could revive instability in the country if a close result is rejected by the losing candidate, according to analysts. The two contenders will compete in the run-off election after coming first and second, far ahead of their competitors, in the preliminary vote in November. Ravalomanana and Rajoelina were both banned from running in the 2013 election as part of an agreement to end recurring crises that have rocked Madagascar since independence from France in 1960.
A former president of Madagascar and the man who overthrew him in a coup will compete to become the island state’s next leader in December after the two came top in a first-round vote that knocked out the incumbent. Former President Marc Ravalomanana received 35.35 percent of the vote in the November first round, behind his successor, Andry Rajoelina, who got 39.23 percent, the High Constitutional Court said on Wednesday. Current President Hery Rajaonarimampianina received just 8.82 percent, the court said, and will not take part in the second round. The court rejected his request to have the election cancelled. The runoff vote is set for December 19.
Presidential hopeful Marc Ravalomanana has lodged over 50 complaints at Madagascar’s top court about the conduct of presidential polls to “correct irregularities,” sources close to his campaign said on Tuesday. Neither Ravalomanana nor his arch-rival Andry Rajoelina won the 50% of votes required for a first-round victory following the November 7 election, according to results published on Saturday. The run-off vote is scheduled for December 19. “We’re not seeking a victory in the first round of voting, just to correct irregularities in the results,” said a member of Ravalomanana’s legal team who requested anonymity.
Madagascar is set for a run-off on 19 December after no presidential candidate amassed enough votes to be declared outright winner following elections held in early November. The run-off will be contested by two former presidents, Andry Rajoelina and Marc Ravalomanana who led first round presidential polls. According to provisional results announced by the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI-T) on 17 November, Rajoelina and Ravalomanana emerged as the two candidates with the most votes in the first round elections, receiving 39.19 and 35.29 percent of the vote, respectively. Incumbent President, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, could only manage to secure 8.84 percent of the vote, according to CENI-T. The rest of the vote was split among 33 other presidential aspirants.
In Madagascar, two former heads of state qualified for the second round of the presidential election, to be held on December 19. Andry Rajoelina, president of the transitional period of 2009 to 2014, won 39% of the vote and Marc Ravalomanana, president from 2002 to 2009, received 35% of the vote. The remainder of the votes were split up between the 34 other candidates. A candidate must win more than 50% of the vote to become president. The second round will be a competition between the two main protagonists of Madagascar’s 2009 crisis, who each responded on Sunday to the results.
Two former presidents of Madagascar look set to compete in a hotly-contested run-off election in December after partial results on Thursday showed they were frontrunners in the first-round vote. With 80% of the ballots counted from last week’s vote, Andry Rajoelina was on 39.63% and Marc Ravalomanana was on 35.42% – pointing towards a close race for the presidency in the head-to-head second round. Outgoing president Hery Rajaonarimampianina was in third place with eight percent. “Given the results of the CENI (Independent National Electoral Commission), the second round is now inevitable,” Madagascan analyst Mahery Lanto Manandafy told AFP.
A runoff presidential election in December is likely in Madagascar where two former presidents are in a tight race, according to results announced Wednesday from 70 percent of polling stations. Seven days after voting, former transitional president Andry Rajoelina is leading with 39 percent of the votes counted, followed closely by former president Marc Ravalomanana with 36 percent. The most recent president, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, is far behind with 7 percent, according to results from 17,097 of the 24,852 polling stations, according to the national electoral commission. A total of 36 candidates contested the Nov. 7 election. If no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the votes, a second round will take place on December 19th. All the leading candidates have expressed doubts about the reliability commission’s results. Madagascar has been shaken many times by post-election crises.
Former Madagascan president Hery Rajaonarimampianina on Thursday alleged that “many voting irregularities” pointed to fraud in this week’s election, heightening fears of protests and a disputed result. Early counting from a small number of polling stations put Rajaonarimampianina in a distant third place behind leading contenders Andry Rajoelina and Marc Ravalomanana, both also former presidents of the Indian Ocean island. “Many voting irregularities and technical anomalies have been detected including an invalid electoral register… intimidation (and) the presence of pre-ticked ballots,” said Rajaonarimampianina, who ruled from 2014 to September 2018.
Madagascar’s past three presidents, all in the running against 33 other candidates in Wednesday’s presidential vote, each had their terms tarnished by political crises. Here is a look back at the turbulent recent history of the Indian Ocean island: Marc Ravalomanana, a former milkman turned millionaire milk mogul is declared winner of the presidential election in 2002 after a crisis lasting nearly seven months against outgoing leader Didier Ratsiraka, who disputed the results. Ravalomanana is re-elected in 2006.
Madagascar votes on Wednesday in a high-stakes election with three ex-presidents the front-runners to lead the large Indian Ocean island rocked by tensions earlier this year. Attempts by the most recent president, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, to change electoral laws backfired and sparked nearly three months of protests in the capital Antananarivo. The demonstrations forced Rajaonarimampianina to accept a “consensus” government tasked with organising the election in the poor country with a history of coups and civil unrest.
“If I was to vote, I would definitely vote for the rubbish bins because at least they feed us,” scoffed Claudine Rajaonarison. She had been scouring the streets of Antananarivo since 04:00 for plastic to sell. Rajaonarison, a 35-year-old mother of three, said she will not be voting for Madagascar’s next president in the November 7 poll. Not one of the 36 candidates has impressed her. “The candidates are vying for power for themselves – not the wellbeing of the country,” she said, a large sack of rice on her shoulders as she struggled to sift through piles of rubbish with her children alongside a railway line. She then washed her haul of two dozen plastic bottles to be sold for 1 000 ariary ($0.30), enough for 400 grams of rice for her family who sleep outside surrounded by rats.
Madagascar will hold a presidential election on November 7, the Prime Minister said yesterday, after street protests and a political crisis that forced the appointment of a caretaker government. If no candidate wins an outright majority, a second round of voting will be held on December 19, added Prime Minister Christian Ntsay. The Indian Ocean island nation has been in the grip of a growing stand-off over proposed electoral reforms that triggered mass protests and led the Constitutional Court to order a caretaker government to organise the ballot.
Madagascar’s electoral court declared former finance minister Hery Rajaonarimampianina president-elect on Friday despite allegations by his defeated rival that the December run-off vote was rigged. The ruling raises the specter of protests by supporters of Jean Louis Robinson who had demanded a recount and warned on Thursday that his patience was wearing thin. Any prolonged row over the result of the Dec. 20 vote, the first since a coup on the Indian Ocean island in 2009, threatens to extend a political crisis that has sharply slowed economic growth and deepened poverty. An aide to Robinson, who was backed by Marc Ravalomanana, the man ousted from power five years ago, this week said he would outline the “irregularities” to the Southern African Development Community and African Union. Both blocs had worked on a political deal to push Madagascar towards an election.
Madagascar’s presidential candidates both claimed victory Saturday in run-off polls, each accusing the other of rigging the vote as results started to trickle in. Mutual mud-slinging marked the long wait as counting continued after elections on Friday aimed at pulling the island from the doldrums following a coup four years ago. The tiff resembled disputed polls in 2001, when both candidates’ insistence on an outright first-round win led to deadly clashes. Former health minister Robinson Jean Louis, candidate of ousted president Marc Ravalomanana, told AFP he expected to win 56 per cent, while his opponent Hery Rajaonarimampianina claimed to have taken between 60 and 65 percent. “Up to now I’m the winner, and we had a little party last night at our headquarters because the voters who came showed we won, at least according to the results we’ve received,” Jean Louis, 61, told AFP in an interview Saturday. His camp will challenge vote-rigging in court, the freemason doctor said.
Madagascar stages a run-off presidential election on Friday, but old rifts may persist, extending a crisis begun by a coup five years ago that deterred investors and donors of aid to one of Africa’s poorest nations. Neither candidate scored a commanding victory in October’s first round. Both rely on supporters of their respective sponsors, outgoing President Andry Rajoelina and the man he deposed with the army’s help in 2009, Marc Ravalomanana. Voters may not deliver a clear mandate to either Jean Louis Robinson, an ally of Ravalomanana, or Hery Rajaonarimampianina, a former finance minister backed by Rajoelina.
Madagascans are taking to the polls in a run-off elections aimed at pulling the island out of the political and economic doldrums and restoring democracy. Citizens hope Friday’s vote will end the crisis sparked by Andry Rajoelina’s coup four years ago, which paralyzed much of the government and caused foreign donors to cancel aid. Both Rajoelina and the man he ousted in March 2009, Marc Ravalomanana, have been blocked from running, amid international pressure over fears of a return to violence. Instead, proxy candidates took part and won the two top places during a first round of voting on October 25. Freemason doctor and former health minister Robinson Jean Louis is seen as a slight favourite after winning 21.16 percent in the first round.
Madagascar’s Special Electoral Court (CES) has rejected a demand for the cancellation of election results, the CES said on Monday. Five of 33 candidates in the first round of presidential election held in Madagascar on Oct. 25 had demanded the revocation of election results under the pretext of “fraud, use of public prerogatives by certain candidates and bad organization of the election.” The candidates making the demand include Voninahitsy Jean Eugene, who won 2.13 percent, and Lahiniriko Jean, who scored 0.87 percent. Some candidates had also asked for postponing the election or re-organizing the first round of election. “The CES declares admissible applications … asking cancellation of the vote nationally, but rejects as unfounded,” the CES said in its website.
There was a presidential election in Madagascar on Oct. 25. Thirty-three candidates were on the ballot, and nobody got a majority. According to the Malagasy constitution, the top two vote getters must go to a runoff on Dec. 20. The biggest vote went to Jean Louis Robinson, with 21.1 percent, with Hery Rajaonarimampianina second, at 15.9 percent. Madagascar is a huge island off the East Coast of Africa, with a population of 22 million. It was first settled two thousand years ago or more by travelers from Borneo, with later additions from the African continent. Madagascar has unique flora and fauna, much of which is now threatened by expanding human economic activities. For a long time an independent kingdom, Madagascar was seized by France in 1896, and exploited as a colony. When the French empire was fatally weakened by World War II and defeats in Vietnam and Algeria, and after a large-scale mass rebellion, Madagascar got its independence in 1960.
The people of Madagascar are waiting for the outcome of Saturday’s election.They hope the new leadership will lift their country out of political chaos and rescue it from economic ruin. It is a long list. Thirty three candidates competed in Friday’s presidential elections in Madagascar, far more than the last election in 2006. Parties are playing a subordinate role. “You’ll look for familiar candidates’ names in vain,” said Jean Herve Rakotozanany, a radio journalist who has been covering Madagascan politics for the last 15 years. Some of the candidates’ names were completely unknown to him. Initially it had seemed that well-known heavyweights such as Marc Ravalomanana and Andry Rajoelina would be contesting this election. Ravalomanana was president until the beginning of 2009. He was then ousted by Rajoelina and fled into exile.
Madagascar’s first presidential election since a military-backed coup was free and fair, European Union (EU) and Southern African observers said on Sunday, as early results trickled out two days after the poll. The announcements were a boost for the Indian Ocean island which needs a credible vote to rebuild investors’ confidence and win back aid suspended after dissident troops propelled Andry Rajoelina into power in 2009. But foreign envoys warned there was still time for an upset. Full results cold take as long as a week to emerge and the two front-runners both anticipate a second-round runoff, prolonging the uncertainty. “This election has been free, transparent and credible,” the head of the EU observer mission, Maria Muniz de Urquiza, said. The Southern African Development Community (SADC), which suspended Madagascar as a member after Rajoelina’s power grab, said the vote had “reflected the will of Malagasy people”.
Madagascar will hold elections on Friday in an effort to end political tensions that erupted in a 2009 coup and lift the aid-dependent country out of poverty. The island nation, off Africa’s east coast in the Indian Ocean, plunged into turmoil after Andry Rajoelina, a former disc jockey and mayor of the capital Antananarivo, seized power with the help of the military. Ousted President Marc Ravalomanana went into exile in South Africa. The coup resulted in the suspension of much-needed foreign aid. Madagascar was suspended from the African Union and the 15-nation Southern African Development Community, or SADC, until a constitutionally elected government was restored. With 33 candidates running in the election, it could prove difficult for a clear winner to emerge in the first round. If none of the candidates garners more than 50 percent of the votes, the two top candidates will compete in a runoff scheduled for Dec. 20. Nine candidates, including three key politicians, were barred from taking part in the polls as part of a plan to resolve the political crisis. Former presidents Rajoelina and Didier Ratsiraka and former president Ravalomanana’s wife, Lalao, were excluded for failing to comply with the country’s electoral laws.
There’s no doubt that former Madagascar President Marc Ravalomanana and Andry Rajoelina, who threw him out four years ago, have unfinished business. But that will have to wait. Friday’s presidential election on the island provides the arena for a battle by proxy. From his exile in South Africa, Ravalomanana, the man who went from yoghurt magnate to national leader to asylum seeker, has endorsed one of the 33 candidates, namely Jean Louis Robinson who served as his Health Minister. Here in the capital Antananarivo, former disc jockey and youthful interim President Rajoelina initially gave his stamp of approval to no fewer than three of the runners. However, it is former Finance Ninister Hery Rajaonarimampianina who has his final blessing. Only six of the 33 have a realistic chance of winning. All money is on there not being an outright winner when results are announced early next month. So the front runners will probably be back for the run-off to coincide with the parliamentary elections scheduled for December 20.
Madagascar is set to hold elections Friday, trying to shrug off the effects of a 2009 coup that plunged millions of people into poverty and hunger due to subsequent African and Western sanctions and withdrawal of budget aid. The efforts of donors to punish the country’s politicians have backfired and hurt its most vulnerable people, especially children, U.N. humanitarian agencies said Monday. Madagascar, a country that relied on donors to cover about 40% of its budget in 2008, is a study on what goes wrong after a coup: Tourism evaporates, investors go elsewhere and international donors drastically cut their support. “Before the coup, Madagascar was seen as a donor darling. Things were coming up. They were going to reach their Millennium Development Goals,” said UNICEF’s Madagascar representative, Steven Lauwerier, who was in Johannesburg on Monday.
Vehicles brandishing loudspeakers blast out propaganda in the streets of Antananarivo, Madagascar’s capital. Candidates’ faces are plastered across buildings, buses and T-shirts given out at rallies. It has been a long time coming, but after months of wrangling, three postponements and a lot of international pressure, Madagascar is finally set to hold its first presidential elections since a coup in early 2009. The first round is supposed to take place on October 25th, the second on December 20th, along with parliamentary elections. This is good news, at least on the face of things. Of the 52 African countries measured by the Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance, Madagascar, a vast island off Africa’s east coast, registered the biggest deterioration in overall governance over the past 12 years. Since the coup, the economy has tanked.
After four years of endless meetings in Maputo, Pretoria, Gaborone and Addis Ababa and of commitments never adhered to and agreements reneged upon, mediators believe the crisis in Madagascar might soon be over. This follows the decision by a special electoral court in Madagascar to bar the three main protagonists in the current crisis from participating in upcoming elections. Coup leader and interim president Andry Rajoelina, Lalao Ravalomanana the wife of ousted president Marc Ravalomanana, and former president Didier Ratsiraka have been disqualified on technical grounds from the October poll, something the international community believes will give a fresh start to a country mired in political disputes since the coup in March 2009. This week the Southern African Development Community (SADC) mediator of the crisis, former Mozambican president Joaquim Chissano, told the Mail & Guardian that he believes an important milestone has been reached and the elections could provide an opportunity for Madagascar to emerge from the crisis. “We hope that this time the consensus will stick and it will lead the nation to the elections,” he said.