Madagascar's Andry Rajolina boycotts vote to re-elect president

Madagascar’s Andry Rajolina boycotts vote to re-elect president

Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina was re-elected in a first round boycotted by almost all opposition candidates, the electoral commission announced on Saturday.

Rajoelina won 58.95 percent of the votes cast in the November 16 election, according to results released by the polling agency.

Voter turnout was just over 46%, lower than the previous presidential election in 2018.

Rajoelina, 49, first came to power in 2009 after a revolt that ousted former president Mark Ravalomanana. He then skipped subsequent elections and returned victorious in 2018.

Eleven million voters had to choose between Rajolina and 12 other candidates. Ten of the incumbent’s rivals have refused to campaign, branding the vote a farce and urging voters to avoid voting.

Rajoelina, a former mayor of the capital Antananarivo, has been accused by rivals of corruption, greed and turning a blind eye to the plunder of the country’s natural resources, including precious rosewood forests.

“What will be the result? What election?” was the joint opposition response to a request for comment on Mr. Rajolina’s victory.

“We do not recognize the results of this illegal election, which is riddled with fraud, and we abdicate all responsibility for the political and social instability that may ensue,” the opposition warned.

“An alarming abnormal situation”

Opposition parties have not yet indicated whether they will formally contest the results, nor have they called for further street demonstrations.

In the weeks leading up to the vote, opposition forces, including two former presidents, led nearly daily, largely unauthorized protests that were regularly dispersed by police using tear gas.

Madagascar has been in turmoil since it was reported in June that Rajoelina had acquired French citizenship in 2014.

Opponents argued that under local law, the president should lose his Malagasy citizenship and, with it, his ability to lead the country.

Opposition candidates have accused the government of working to re-elect Rajoelina, alleging a “systemic coup” in favor of the incumbent.

They called for a halt to the electoral process and for international intervention.

Eight countries and organizations, including the European Union and the United States, expressed concern about the “unreasonable use of force” to suppress opposition demonstrations.

Opposition parties have accused fraud, including the closure of polling stations, a shortage of ballot boxes and the use of state resources for Rajoelina’s campaign.

One of the two opponents officially left in the race, Siteny Landriana Sonianico, also condemned the “alarming anomaly” and said it “raises legitimate doubts about the validity of the result”. Ta.

The results must be verified by the country’s highest constitutional court, the country’s highest constitutional court, within nine days, during which time an appeal can be filed if challenged.


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