Madagascar’s Constitutional Court officially confirmed President Andry Rajoelina’s re-election for a third term. The election, held on November 16, 2023, was a controversy, allegations of fraud, and a boycott by most opposition parties. The court’s announcement, validating Rajoelina’s victory with 59% of the votes.
The electoral process in Madagascar faced challenges, beginning with a delayed start due to anti-Rajoelina protests organized by the opposition.
The protests prompted a one-week postponement of the election, setting the stage for a contentious political climate.
A curfew was even imposed on the eve of the election after protesters targeted and set fire to some polling stations.
The delayed start and the contentious atmosphere, the election proceeded, resulting in a low voter turnout of only 46%.
Ten out of thirteen presidential contenders had withdrawn their candidacies prior to the election. Although their names remained on the ballot, these withdrawals were accompanied by calls to supporters to abstain from voting, contributing to the low turnout.
Opposition parties expressed concerns about the credibility of the election, questioning the fairness of the electoral conditions and denouncing President Andry Rajoelina’s bid for a third term.
Some of the issues raised included allegations of vote buying, irregularities in the counting process, and doubts about the validity of Rajoelina’s candidacy due to his dual French nationality.
The Constitutional Court faced legal challenges from the opposition seeking to annul Rajoelina’s candidacy, but these attempts were rejected.
The court’s decision to dismiss these challenges and proceed with validating the election results fueled tensions within the politics.
According to the final results by the High Constitutional Court, Andry Rajoelina secured 58.96% of the votes cast, surpassing the 50% threshold required for a first-round victory.
The court’s announcement declared Andry Rajoelina elected for a third term, addressing that he would assume office as soon as the swearing in ceremony is completed.
The opposition’s claims of irregularities, the court’s validation of Rajoelina’s victory solidifies his political standing in Madagascar.
The world is closely monitored Madagascar’s election process, expressing concern over the reported irregularities and the opposition’s claims of fraud.
The legitimacy of the election results has become a problem, with calls for transparency and adherence to democratic principles.
The African Union (AU) and other regional organizations have been to assess the situation and ensure that the democratic process is upheld.
The world is closely watching how Madagascar’s politics evolves in the aftermath of the controversial election and the court’s validation of Andry Rajoelina’s victory.
Andry Rajoelina himself coming to power in 2009 following a coup. The recent election has existing tensions, with opposition candidates and their supporters expressing dissatisfaction with the electoral process and outcome.
The country remains one of the poorest in the world, with approximately 80% of the population living on less than $2 a day.
The socio-economic challenges faced by the Malagasy people are intertwined with the political situation, making the outcome of the election for the nation’s future.
The Constitutional Court’s confirmation of Andry Rajoelina’s victory, eleven opposition candidates have declared their refusal to recognize the results, citing a multitude of irregularities.
Their joint statement alleges that the election was riddled with irregularities and questions the fairness of the entire process.
Siteny Randrianasoloniaiko, one of the candidates who maintained his candidacy and did not join the boycott, filed a legal challenge seeking to cancel the election results.
He raised questions about vote buying and irregularities in the counting process. However, the court not only rejected his appeal but also canceled some of his votes.