Campaigning for 7 Nov presidential elections officially began 8 Oct. 36 candidates competing, including former Presidents Ravalomanana and Rajoelina whom incumbent President Rajaonarimampianina unsuccessfully attempted to block from running in April-May 2018. Unidentified groups 10 and 12 Oct tried to disrupt Rajaonarimampianina’s rallies. African Union 23 Oct said it would send election observers.
Madagascar’s recent elections marked an ostensible return to democracy, but unless the new government works hard to implement meaningful political, economic and social reforms, the prospect of further crisis is just a matter of time.
While the reality and extent of the coup announced yesterday by military officers is still uncertain, the latest events demonstrate the fragility of the situation in Madagascar and the urgent need for a new international strategy to end the long crisis. Negotiations should now focus on international support to the electoral process based on strict conditions.
Madagascar has been in crisis since the bloody upheavals in early 2009. Several rounds of mediation under the auspices of the African Union (AU) and others have not unlocked the stalemate.
Originally published in City Press