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Electoral commission 15 June released provisional results of 27 May legislative elections: of 151 seats, President Rajoelina’s coalition Isika Rehetra Miaraka amin’i Andry Rajoelina won 78 and leading opposition party Tiako i Madagasikara (TIM) of former President Marc Ravalomanana won seventeen; turnout reportedly low at 31%. TIM 31 May denounced campaign irregularities. Police 8 June arrested 27 soldiers accused of killing three civilians same day in extortion attempt in Ambohimahasoa area; soldiers reportedly threatened magistrates handling case.
Legislative elections held peacefully 27 May; results expected mid-June.
President Rajoelina 21 April scheduled referendum on whether to change constitution, disband senate and give more powers to regions for 27 May, same day as legislative election, but in face of opposition from judiciary and opposition parties he 26 April postponed referendum without setting new date.
National Assembly 1 Feb passed law enabling President Rajoelina, elected in Dec, to legislate by decree until election of new parliament on grounds that existing parliament’s mandate would end 5 Feb; date of parliamentary polls not yet fixed. Parliament 5 Feb confirmed law in final session. Opposition MPs close to former President Ravalomanana, defeated in Dec polls, denounced break in separation of powers.
Following victory of former President Andry Rajoelina in Dec presidential run-off elections, thousands of supporters of his opponent former President Marc Ravalomanana 2 Jan protested alleged voting fraud in capital Antananarivo; police fired tear gas to disperse them. High Constitutional Court 8 Jan confirmed Rajoelina as winner, rejecting Ravalomanana’s appeal for cancellation of results. Rajoelina sworn in as president 19 Jan.
Electoral commission 27 Dec declared former President Andry Rajoelina winner of 19 Dec presidential run-off vote with 55.66% of vote, beating former President Marc Ravalomanana who garnered 44.34%. Ravalomanana’s team filed complaint with High Constitutional Court asking for cancellation of results, even though he had previously said he would accept results. Some 2,000 Ravalomanana supporters 29 Dec protested in capital Antananarivo, demanding recount.
In 7 Nov presidential elections, no candidate won more than 50% of vote needed for victory in first round; candidates who won most votes, former presidents Andry Rajoelina (39.19%) and Marc Ravalomanana (35.29%), to compete in run-off vote set for 19 Dec. Incumbent President Rajaonarimampianina won 8.84%. Rajoelina and Ravalomanana alleged fraud and malpractice by election authorities. Independent National Electoral Commission and monitoring missions of regional bloc South African Development Community and European Union rejected allegations, saying no major irregularities took place.
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.
Following opposition protests in April against new electoral laws, which critics claim were intended to prevent some opposition candidates including former Presidents Ravalomanana and Rajoelina from running in late 2018 presidential elections, High Court 3 May declared laws unconstitutional. Opposition 4 May reiterated call for President Rajaonarimampianina to resign. Rajaonarimampianina 12 May approved new law lifting provision that would have prevented Ravalomanana and Rajoelina from standing. High Constitutional Court 25 May ordered Rajaonarimampianina to dissolve govt and by 2 June appoint new PM with backing of all parties and thereafter appoint govt that reflects parties in parliament.
Opposition supporters 21-24 April protested in capital Antananarivo against new electoral laws they claim are designed to prevent opposition candidate and former Presidents Ravalomanana and Rajoelina from running in late-2018 presidential elections; two protesters died in confrontations with police. Opposition activists 24 April called on President Rajaonarimampianina to resign.
Grenade attack 26 June in stadium in Antananarivo during Independence Day celebrations killed two and injured 84; President Rajaonarimampianina blamed attack on “political divergences”. Opposition senator René Lylison, under arrest warrant for threats to state security, early-June denied charges.
Rumours of imminent coup persisted throughout May despite appointment of new army and police chiefs to keep in check alleged seditious groups in security forces. Opposition Senator René Lylison 23 May called for general strike to protest govt’s poor governance; call not heeded but security forces next day dispersed protests in Antananarivo.
Presidency 8 April announced resignation of PM Jean Ravelonarivo and cabinet, following months of tension between PM and President Rajaonarimampianina. Rajaonarimampianina 11 April appointed interior minister and ruling party loyalist Olivier Mahafaly Solonandrasana as PM. Mahafaly 15 April named 32-member cabinet including over 60% new members.
Constitutional Court (HCC) 22 Jan published results of 29 Dec senatorial elections; ruling New Forces for Madagascar (HVM) won landslide victory with 34 of 42 seats. Elections allow for first establishment of Senate since its dissolution following 2009 coup. Opposition criticised results and appealed to HCC to annul vote over fraud allegations; HCC rejected appeals.
Senatorial elections held peacefully 29 Dec; electoral commission reported high voter turnout. Administrative tribunal tasked with assessing July municipal election results 18 Dec cancelled election results in Ifanaria community of Ikongo district amid ongoing review of communal poll results. Parliament 14 Dec passed 2016 budget despite initial opposition threats to vote against or boycott session.
President Rajaonarimampianina 6 Nov said he would not reshuffle govt or dissolve parliament despite months of tension between parliament and executive, citing need for political stability. IMF 18 Nov approved $42mn loan.
National Assembly 9 Oct passed bill to establish Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) composed of nine permanent members; CENI inaugurated 29 Oct. Opposition MAPAR coalition and VP-Malagasy Miara Miainga (VPMMM) boycotted vote, said proposed composition is anti-constitutional. PM Ravelonarivo 10 Oct announced plan to reform security sector.
President Rajaonarimampianina and National Assembly deputies early Sept signed Pact of Responsibility intended to stabilise govt amid ongoing tensions: president agreed not to dissolve parliament, parliament agreed not to attack executive. Administrative tribunal tasked with assessing all municipal election disputes 17 Sept rejected all appeals, confirming electoral commission’s 11 Aug results.
Electoral commission 11 Aug published results of 31 July municipal elections: ruling New Forces for Madagascar (HVM) won majority of mayoral races in rural areas; Tiako I Madagasikara (TIM) candidate and former first lady Lalao Ravalomanana won in Antananarivo. Former coup leader Andry Rajoelina’s TV and Radio Viva stations ransacked 7 Aug after his MAPAR party accused ruling HVM of electoral fraud. Electoral observers 6 Aug identified several problems with elections including untrained poll workers and voter list issues; some 800 appeal cases filed to Administrative Court.
Over a hundred MPs 1 July filed motion of no confidence against Prime Minister Ravelonarivo’s govt for failing to resolve country’s socio-economic troubles, among other grievances; motion failed 3 July.
Constitutional Court 13 June struck down parliament’s 26 May impeachment of President Rajaonarimampianina. Impeachment vote followed by crack-down on dissidents: interior ministry 4 June prohibited political gatherings. Police 8 June seized $65,000 from car of Lanto Rakotomanga, MP and ally of former coup leader Rajoelina, claimed money would be used to foster unrest; Rakotomanga’s lawyers insisted money was for political campaign.
Parliament 26 May voted to dismiss President Rajaonarimampianina for alleged constitutional violations and incompetence following growing discontent among parliamentarians, with opposition accusing president of constitutional violations, including his threat to dissolve National Assembly. Constitutional Court set to rule on validity of dismissal of president. President 2 May announced former President Ravalomanana freed from house arrest. Armada opposition alliance and parties allied to former coup leader Andry Rajoelina 10 May raised motion in parliament to replace Independent National Electoral Commission of the Transition, arguing it should have been replaced after transition period ended. Rajoelina mid-May threatened to boycott 31 July municipal elections over disagreements on electoral preparations.
Former President Ravalomanana 14 April withdrew from Malagasy Council of Churches (FFKM)-led reconciliation talks after being prevented from speaking at 11 April rally due to house arrest; 24 April announced return to talks following discussions with FFKM leaders. Talks resumed 28 April, only President Rajaonarimampianina and former Presidents Ratsiraka and Ravalomanana attended.
Malagasy Council of Churches (FFKM)-led reconciliation talks held 20 March between former leaders Ravalomanana and Ratsiraka, and President Rajaonarimampianina; former coup leader Rajoelina and former President Zafy did not attend following their 19 Feb withdrawal from talks. Leaders present agreed to delay planned national reconciliation conference to 28 April. Opposition leader Alain Ramaroson arrested 28 March as security forces blocked planned protests in capital calling on govt to address living conditions, released 31 March.
High Constitutional Court 12 Feb upheld President Rajaonarimampianina’s 15 Jan appointment of PM Jean Ravelonarivo following legal challenge by former coup leader Rajoelina. Rajoelina and former President Zafy 19 Feb withdrew from Malagasy Council of Churches (FFKM)-led reconciliation process; Rajoelina cited continued disagreement with PM appointment and lack of meaningful action toward reconciliation. FFKM 20 Feb insisted reconciliation process would continue with remaining former leaders and current president.
Govt and PM Kolo’s long-expected 13 Jan resignation catalysed by deadly protests over power shortages; President Rajaonarimampianina 15 Jan named former air force commander Jean Ravelonarivo new PM. Former coup leader Rajoelina 16 Jan issued court challenge, alleging appointment anti-constitutional. Second reconciliation meeting between current President and former presidents Zafy, Ratsiraka, Ravalomana and Rajoelina held 13 Jan, little progress.
President Rajaonarimampianina and former presidents Zafy, Ratsiraka, Ravalomanana and Rajoelina 19 Dec met for reconciliation talks led by Malagasy Christian Council of Churches (FFKM). Despite ongoing tensions, Ravalomanana allowed home under house arrest 24 Dec. Following talks president also pardoned three political prisoners 25 Dec. Next reconciliation meeting planned 13 Jan.
Former presidents including Andry Rajoelina, Marc Ravalomanana, and current President Rajaonarimampianina agreed to national reconciliation following Ravalomanana’s controversial return to country last month; Ravalomanana remains in custody. President Rajaonarimampianina 20 Nov said he would take reconciliation lead; other parties disagreed. Process has been unable to secure input of Rajoelina, who mid-Nov said reconciliation must follow justice.
Former President Ravalomanana “secretly” returned 12 Oct after five years exile, signalled intent to challenge legitimacy of President Rajaonarimampianina’s administration. AU, SADC condemned return as reckless, reiterated support for Rajaonarimampianina, reconciliation. Govt forces detained Ravalomanana, reportedly for own protection; crackdown on public demonstrations, police 18 Oct used tear gas to disperse pro-Ravalomanana.
Electoral Commission 11 Sept postponed 2014 local elections citing “insufficient legal framework”, prompting civil society discontent. Three former ministers arrested early Sept for alleged corruption while in office. Several opposition parties 6 Sept signed coalition charter. 36 cattle rustlers killed mid-Sept in clashes with security forces and villagers in southern Amboasary district.
Tensions continued over former President Ravalomanana’s desire to return from exile and President Rajaonarimampianina’s refusal. After arrests of journalists late July, civil society organisations early Aug warned of new cyber law prohibiting insult and defamation of state representative. 15 killed in mid-Aug clashes between armed cattle rustlers and security forces in southern Amboasary district.
PM Kolo 3 July declared 40% of budget lost to corruption, promised reforms. Reassembled Tiako I Madagasikara (TIM) opposition party pushed for return of former President Marc Ravalomanana; return reportedly opposed by President Hery Rajaonarimampianina. 2 journalists arrested 23 July for alleged defamation of minister, 50 journalists same day led protest in Antananarivo; journalists released 25 July.
Inter-communal violence continued in southern Amboasary district, thousands displaced; govt 7 June officially launched “coup d’arrêt” security operation against cattle rustlers. Dispute between opposition parties over status in parliament and nomination of opposition leader continued.
Inter-communal clashes fuelled by cattle rustling early to mid-month killed 22 and displaced 3,000 in southern Amboasary district; additional security forces deployed. MAPAR coalition still divided over role in opposition; 23 May elected former president Andry Rajoelina as leader. IMF, World Bank, EU, U.S. announced full resumption of development assistance.
President Rajaonarimampianina 11 April ap- pointed relatively unknown, non-politically-aligned doctor Roger Kolo as PM, ending 3-month deadlock. Kolo announced govt of technocrats, move welcomed by U.S., EU, AU.
Still no new PM, govt; President Rajaonarimampianina early-month rejected proposed candidates Haja Resampa and Rolland Jules Etienne. IMF restored relations, suspended following 2009 coup.
Former transitional president and 2009 coup leader Andry Rajoelina 21 Feb ruled out seeking PM role in new govt; his dominant MAPAR coalition 24 Feb proposed Haja André Resampa (former Rajoelina aide) and secured Christine Razananahosoa, former justice minister in transition, as speaker of house.
Electoral commission 3 Jan confirmed Hery Rajaonarimampianina, candidate backed by outgoing President Rajoelina, won 53.5% in 20 Dec presidential vote; Jean-Louis Robinson, backed by ousted President Ravalomanana, took 46.5%. Robinson alleged irregularities in polls, but 17 Jan lost bid to have results nullified, indicated intention to appeal to SADC, AU. Rajoelina 22 Jan said he may seek PM post, raising fears of renewed tensions. Following Rajaonarimampianina’s inauguration 24 Jan, grenade explosion at Mahamasina stadium killed 1, injured 33. AU 27 Jan lifted suspension of Madagascar, imposed following 2009 coup.
Second round of presidential election 20 Dec; Jean- Louis Robinson and Hery Rajaonarimampianina both claimed victory, alleged fraud and vote-rigging. SADC, EU observers noted some irregularities but praised polls as “free, credible and democratic”. Electoral commission 30 Dec released partial results showing Rajaonarimampianina, who is close to transitional President Rajoelina, took lead with 53.13% of votes against 46.87% for Robinson, seen as close to deposed President Ravalomanana; final tally due 7 Jan.
Special Electoral Court (CES) confirmed results of 25 Oct first round presidential election; Jean-Louis Robinson, seen as close to ousted President Ravalomanana, won 21.16% votes against 15,85% for Hery Rajaonarimampianina, seen as close to transitional President Rajoelina; run-off expected 20 Dec.
25 Oct presidential elections deemed free and fair by SADC, EU and local observers; preliminary results show ally of ousted president Ravalomanana, Jean-Louis Robinson, with early lead with 27% of votes; main rival Hery Rajaonarimampianina, close to transitional president Rajoelina, just over 15%; run-off likely to be held in Dec. Electoral Commission head 28 Oct indicated provisional results will be available 8 Nov. Reported incidents include: district chief killed at polling station in southern town Benenitra; 1 kidnapped from voting site in Bezaha; polling station burned down in northern district Tsaratanana. Security forces 4 Oct imposed curfew on Nosy Be island after mob lynched 3, including 2 Europeans, suspected of killing child and organ trafficking; 35 arrested.
Former President Ravalomanana 14 Sept announced he will support candidate Jean-Louis Robinson in presidential elections scheduled for 25 Oct (first round). AU 6 Sept lifted sanctions against Rajoelina and 109 political personalities imposed in 2010. Series of bomb explosions in capital Antananarivo early Sept, 1 person killed in 16 Sept blast. Presidential campaigns officially began 24 Sept; bomb exploded 26 Sept outside house of Special Electoral Court President François Rakotozafy.
Special Electoral Court (CES) 17 Aug cancelled 8 candidatures, including those of Lalao Ravalomanana, Andry Rajoelina and Didier Ratsiraka; CES 22 Aug scheduled elections for 25 Oct 2013. Rajoelina 23 Aug said respects decision, will step down after polls. Former president Ravalomanana 24 Aug called on supporters to keep supporting wife’s candidacy, 27 Aug said would present new candidate; CES 28 Aug rejected demand, said list is “closed and definitive”. At least 73 killed 31 July in clashes between dahalo cattle-raiders and security forces allied with villagers in SE.
Former first lady Lalao Ravalomana, transitional president Andry Rajoelina, former president Didier Ratsiraka early-month each reiterated intention to run in upcoming presidential elections; SADC gave them until 31 July to withdraw from elections. Govt 23 July announced decision to restructure 21-member Special Electoral Court in line with May SADC request. Police 16 July detained presidential contender Laza Razafiarison for participating in unauthorised demonstration.
National Independent Electoral Commission (CENIT) confirmed 13 June cabinet decision delaying polls scheduled for 24 July citing logistical and political problems, said it will consult with UN on new date. CENIT chair Beatrice Attalah 25 June called on international community to allow all 41 presidential contenders to run for elections, including transitional president Rajoelina, former president Ratsiraka and wife of former president Ravalomanana. UN, AU, SADC reiterated warning that they will not recognise election results should any of the 3 win; International Contact Group endorsed SADC/AU positions.
Fears that SADC-brokered Sept 2011 roadmap for political transition unravelling as political figures reneged on agreements not to stand in forthcoming presidential elections; and transitional president Andry Rajoelina 27 May refused to step down as president as required by electoral law, prompting authorities to postpone planned 24 July elections aimed at bringing 4-year political crisis to an end. Following 14 April submission by former president Marc Ravalomanana’s Mouvance coalition of former first lady Lalao Ravalomanana as presidential candidate, Rajoelina also submitted application to run, arguing that Marc Ravalomanana promoting wife as proxy (both men had pledged not to run). In surprise move electoral court 3 May validated applications of 41 candidates to run for election including Lalao Ravalomanana, Rajoelina and former president Didier Ratsiraka – whose April return from exile was also conditional on him not participating in elections. SADC 10 May called on all 3 to withdraw, said its further support for elections contingent on compliance with roadmap, 26 May said it will not recognise election if one of them wins; SADC position on withdrawal and non-recognition endorsed at AU summit 25-26 May. UNSG Ban also called on the three candidates to withdraw from race. Malagasy Council of Churches (FFKM) 5 May concluded inter-Malagasy dialogue, recommended elections be postponed and called for new roadmap.
Malagasy Council of Churches (FFKM) 18 April launched national dialogue involving 180 political parties and entities to solve political crisis; UN, AU criticised FFKM mediation for broaching idea of postponing elections on first day of dialogue. Newly-created National Council for Reconciliation 10 April named General Rabotoarison to lead reconciliation efforts. Mouvance Ravalomanana coalition 14 April announced nomination of former first lady Lalao Ravalomanana as candidate for upcoming presidential elections; President Rajoelina’s Tanora malaGasy Vonona (TGV) party 6 April nominated outsider Edgard Razafindravahy as candidate. Head of gendarmerie said security forces need €2.5 million to ensure peaceful elections.
President Rajoelina 13 March announced legislative elections to be held 7 May.
National electoral commission (CENIT) 5 Feb announced legislative and presidential elections postponed from May to July; over 30 candidates expected to contest presidential polls. South Africa’s highest court 5 Feb rejected final appeal by former president Ravalomanana to have passport returned, effectively precluding him from attending regional meetings or returning to Madagascar. AU Peace and Security Council 16 Feb rejected request from govt to reintegrate country into organisation. Tensions in south continued: at least 10 killed, 1,200 cattle stolen, 153 houses burned in clashes between Dahalo cattle-raiders and villagers in Amboasary-sud district.
Transitional President Rajoelina 15 Jan said would not contest upcoming elections but will stand in 2018 polls; UNSG Ban 17 Jan welcomed decision, reiterated importance of upholding electoral calendar. President of Lower House Mamy Rakotoarivelo said Rajoelina hoping to set up a “Putin-Medvedev scheme” by supporting ally in presidential election in hope it will secure him nomination as PM.
SADC heads of state summit 8 Dec endorsed “ni- ni” option, meaning neither transitional President Rajoelina nor former president Ravalomanana can run in May-July 2013 elections. Following 10 Dec meeting with SADC troika chair Tanzanian President Kikwete, Ravalomanana 11 Dec announced decision not to contest elections; Kikwete 14 Dec met with Rajoelina to dissuade him from running, but agreement with Rajoelina not confirmed. UN 28 Dec said it will launch investigations into allegations of extrajudicial killings and mob lynchings in southern region Anosy since start of military’s Operation Tandroka against cattle rustlers in Sept; EU envoy Tezapsidis late-month expressed concern insecurity in south could affect preparations for polls. Govt 20 Dec declared state of emergency in capital due to increased number of armed assaults.