Formerly an independent kingdom, Madagascar became a French colony in 1896 but regained independence in 1960. During 1992-93, free presidential and National Assembly elections were held ending 17 years of single-party rule. In 1997, in the second presidential race, Didier RATSIRAKA, the leader during the 1970s and 1980s, was returned to the presidency.
The last presidential election was held on December 3, 2006, when Marc Ravalomanana won the re-election to the presidency in the first round with 55 percent of the vote. Opposition leaders criticized Ravalomanana for authoritarianism and corruption during his second term. There were widespread protests against the elections of Ravalomanana in response to defence forces shooting at protestors trying to enter the presidential palace, killing 30 people.
After tensions reached fever pitch, Ravalomanana stepped down after the presidential palace was seized by the military. Rajoelina was named interim president, promising fresh elections within 24 months. It has taken more than four years for the transitional government to organise elections.
A framework was drawn-up by a mediation process led by the SADC, prohibiting former heads of state from participating in the next election. Both Rajoelina and Ravalomanana desired to run in the impending elections. However, Madagascar's electoral court barred the incumbent president, Andry Rajoelina, and the wife of a long-standing rival from standing in the presidential election.
Who are the main candidates?
Thirty-three (33) candidates are taking part. The front-runners are:
- Hery Martial Rakotoarimanana Rajaonarimampianina (FIDIO)
- Richard Jean-Louis Robinson who is standing for the Avana(Rainbow) party
- Jean Lahniriko - Social and Democratic Party for the Unity of Madagascar/ Parti Socialiste et democratique pour l'union a Mdagascar (PSUDM)
- Pierrot Rajaonarivelo - Association for the Rebirth of Madagascar/ Andry sy Rihana Enti-Manavotra an'i Madagasikara (AREMA)
- Guy Rajemison Rakotomaharo
- Roland Ratsiraka - Toamsima Tonga Saian (TTS)
- Albert Camille Vital - Party: Union/ Tambatra
The Independent National Electoral Commission of the Transition (Cenit) - an independent electoral body funded by the United Nations - is in charge of the polls.
Elections Facts and Figures
There will be both presidential and parliamentary elections in the upcoming polls.
The first round of the elections is scheduled for October 25
Presidential candidates must be Malagasy citizens and have lived in Madagascar for at least six months before applying to stand.
No firm date has been set to announce the results but if no candidate receives more than 50% of the votes cast, a second round will be held on 20 December, along with the parliamentary elections.
- 7,697,382 registered voters in Madagascar.
- The president is elected by majority vote through a two-round system to serve a 5-year term.
- Thirty-three (33) candidates are contesting in the elections.
- Elections will be held in 20,001 polling stations spread across the country,
- 5,000 observers from Malagasy civil society organizations (Red Cross, etc)
- 800 international observers are deployed throughout the country
- Over 100 observers sent by the European Union, the first donor
- 300 observers from 14 Southern African Development Community (SADC)
- Cenit, the electoral commission, is replacing the one-candidate-one-ballot-paper system with a new single-ballot paper.
Some key News Websites
The Presidency: http://www.madagascar-presidency.gov.mg/
Commission Electorale Nationale Independante Pour La Transition (CENI-T):http://www.ceni-madagascar.mg/
Madagascar Tribune: http://www.madagascar-tribune.com/
Election Madagascar.com: http://election-madagascar.com/candidats-presidentielle
Radio France Internationale: http://www.rfi.fr/afrique
Madagascar Live Blog: http://cctvafrica.cctv-news.net/
La Gazette de la Grande lle: http://www.lagazette-dgi.com/
L'Express De Madagascar: http://www.lexpressmada.com/
ZahaVato Election Observation Crowd Map: https://zahavato.crowdmap.com/