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.
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