Madagascar Elections

By | May 13, 2021

In 2009 there was bloody unrest and a coup, in the course of which Andry Rajoelina took power. He was convinced that a new government without Ravalomanana would give Madagascar the much needed development and accused the president of disregarding the constitution and acting as a dictator. The 2009 coup was internationally criticized, but ultimately accepted. As interim president of the transitional government, Rajoelina promised general elections within two years. But these were repeatedly postponed, so that the election was not made until 2013. In the run-up to the 2010 election, Rajoelina left in a referendum vote on a new constitution in which one could choose between “yes” and “no”. It lowered the required age of a Malagasy president to 35 years – which benefited 36-year-old Rajoelina – and laid down the rule that a presidential candidate must have lived in Madagascar for at least 6 months before applying – which is what Ravalomanana, who fled into exile in South Africa, must have and other opposition leaders from the upcoming presidential excluded. It is interpreted as a tactic of Rajoelina that he initially excluded his candidacy several times, only to then run. Ravalomanana and the former President Ratsiraka were also admitted. A total of over 40 people were put up as candidates for the presidency. SADC and the EU sanctioned the elections and called for the expulsion of Rajoelina, Ravalomanana and Ratsiraka. In the polls that finally took place without the three rival known candidates, the medical doctor Jean-Louis Robinson (AVANA) received 21% and Hery Rajaonarimampianina 16% of the votes. Robinson was supported by Ravalomanana, Rajaonarimampianina by Rajoelina. They were seen as puppets of the previous presidents. Party affiliation hardly played a role. So now, too, a second round of elections was necessary, won the Rajaonarimampianina with 53.5% of the vote (Robinson: 46.5%). But here too there were irregularities in the election. Ratsiraka announced that he did not prefer either candidate. 2014 became Rajaonarimampianina sworn in as President.

In general, the correct implementation of elections is only guaranteed to a limited extent. While political participation is definitely guaranteed in the constitution and on a superficial examination, weaknesses can be observed that mainly have to struggle with logistical problems, but also with political agreements and the manipulation of election results due to the connection between elites and circles of power.

The important presidential elections were scheduled for the end of 2018. The rising poverty was pre-election again an issue for voters. In addition to the existing problems, there were also increasing regional disparities. In the run-up to the elections, there was therefore a strong disenchantment with politics, corruption became an apparently unstoppable sword of Damocles over Madagascar, the population was frustrated and the probability of a crisis high. In order to be able to hold peaceful and correct elections, Madagascar has been guaranteed financial support in the millions from international donors. Both Marc Ravalomanana andAndry Rajoelina had run as a candidate. The Presidential Age Requirement Act – which had been reduced from 40 to 35 under Rajoelina and the HAT, was discussed again and made some constituencies nervous. At the beginning of 2018, Ravalomanana was considering an alliance with Rajoelina. The new edition of the competitors Ravalomanana / Rajoelina held the Madagascans the year 2018 in breathing. In 2013, the international community had excluded the two candidates from the elections, but now it seemed indifferent. The saying “Ni Ravalomanana, ni Rajoelina” marked the 2013 electoral term.

The presidential election took place on November 7, 2018. Three former presidents (Marc Ravalomanana, Andry Rajoelina and Didier Ratsiraka, who is over 80 years old) and the incumbent President Hery Rajaonarimampianina stood alongside numerous other candidates. Because of their wealth and the possible expensive election campaign – supported by international donors – Ravalomanana and Rajoelina appeared to be the most promising winners. And so it was hardly surprising that these two also received around 35% and 39% of the votes, which made a runoff election (held on December 19, 2018) necessary. Rajaonarimampianina resigned in accordance with the constitution in September in order to be able to be set up as a candidate. On December 28, it was clear that Rajoelina the election won. According to estatelearning, many Madagascans and international observers are critical of Rajoelina’s new presidency. To a large extent, the population no longer believes in an improvement in Madagascar’s situation – the disappointments with the past and the gap between the largely poor population and the rich upper class, which includes politicians, are too great. In the parliamentary elections in May 2019, however, Rajoelina was able to gather the majority of the MPs in the National Assembly behind her.

Madagascar Elections