In Madagascar, a coalition of 11 opposition candidates in the upcoming presidential election joined forces for a protest in Antananarivo, while supporters of the incumbent president and candidate, Andry Rajoelina, gathered to express their backing for him.
Rajoelina’s supporters emphasized their support for his candidacy, citing his infrastructure development efforts and his commitment to young people and the disadvantaged: “We are here to support candidate Rajoelina, who is number 3. I support him because he has built a lot of infrastructure. And on top of that, they care about young people and the most disadvantaged.”
On the other side, the Malagasy opposition, which has been protesting for over two weeks, decried what they consider an institutional coup d’état leading up to the presidential election scheduled for next month. Their protests stem from the High Constitutional Court’s rejection of three appeals calling for Rajoelina’s candidacy to be invalidated, citing concerns over his Malagasy nationality. Reports from June suggested that he had obtained French citizenship in 2014.
The opposition called for the elections to be conducted fairly and transparently, with the establishment of an independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) and the appointment of a new CENI. They also demanded changes to the government and the establishment of a new special electoral court.
Their demands centered on a rejection of foreign influence in the country’s governance and a call for fundamental changes to the electoral institutions. The High Constitutional Court responded by postponing the first round of the presidential election from November 9 to November 16 due to an injury suffered by one of the candidates. The second round is scheduled for December 20. The situation in Madagascar remains tense as the political landscape continues to evolve.