The wife of ousted leader Marc Ravalomanana has been named presidential candidate in Madagascar’s elections due in July, the former ruling party has announced. Lalao Ravalomanana was picked as the candidate of her husband’s political party at a weekend meeting, party officials said on Monday. “It was absolutely a natural consensus between members of the Ravalomanana Movement and [ex]-president Ravalomanana,” Mamy Rakotoarivelo, a representative of the party told AFP. But her nomination may inflame tensions in the troubled Indian Ocean island nation and complicate the holding of elections due on July 24.
Lalao and her husband had been exiled in South Africa since the coup in 2009, but the former first lady was allowed back into the country on March 12 to be with her seriously ill 83-year-old mother.
Madagascar’s strongman Andry Rajoelina allowed her to return on condition she would abstain from all political activities.
That demand now appears to have been flouted.
The deadline to submit presidential nomination papers is May 3. Observers suspect Ravalomanana’s papers are likely to be rejected on the grounds she has not resided in Madagascar for the last six months.
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