Madagascar incumbent president starts re-election campaign

2023 10 07T120636Z 1226346741 RC2XLW9U1RNB RTRMADP 3 MADAGASCAR POLITICS Large
Madagascar's President Andry Rajoelina addresses the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. Headquarters in New York City, U.S., September 21, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Yesterday, Andry Rajoelina, Madagascar’s incumbent president, officially launched his campaign for re-election, rallying thousands of supporters in the capital city, Antananarivo, who were dressed in orange, the colour of his political party.

The presidential election in Madagascar is scheduled for November 9, but the lead-up to the election has been marred by tensions due to disputes regarding its fairness and legitimacy. Opposition parties have been organising protests for over a week, labelling the situation as an institutional coup aimed at keeping Rajoelina in power. These protests have often been dispersed by the police.

Addressing the crowd from a stage set up in a pine forest in the suburb of Akamasoa, Andry Rajoelina urged his supporters to create a wave of orange throughout Madagascar. He expressed confidence in his victory and emphasized the need for his supporters to mobilise. The campaign period officially began with this rally, but on the previous day, 11 out of the 13 presidential candidates announced their decision to abstain from campaigning until their concerns are addressed.

Andry Rajoelina, aged 49, resigned from the presidency last month in accordance with the constitution to run for re-election. The Senate President, Herimanana Razafimahefa, was expected to take over, but he declined due to personal reasons, leading to the formation of a collegial government headed by the prime minister, a Rajoelina ally. This decision was endorsed by the country’s highest court. Surprinsigly, Razafimahefa sent in the beginning of the week a letter to the Constitutional Court, reversing his decision to decline the caretaker role, expressing his determination to take on the responsibility to prevent a potential political crisis in Madagascar.

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