Harare — The High Constitutional Court of Madagascar ruled on Friday that Andry Rajoelina, the incumbent president, won the election on November 16 and awarded him a third term. The court rejected many objections to the preliminary results, Reuters reports.
One of the objections to the electoral body's provisional count, which was rejected, came from legislator Siteny Randrianasoloniaiko, the runner-up. The court said that he received 14.39% of the vote. Although ten of the thirteen candidates chose not to participate in the poll, their names were already on the ballot, therefore they still received the remaining votes.
Weeks of protests preceded the November election, during which the opposition charged Rajoelina of establishing unfair electoral circumstances. Less than 50% of voters participated in the poll. The army issued a warning against attempts to destabilize the country, and Rajoelina rejected claims that the vote was rigged.
Nine foreign embassies, including those of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, released a statement together "noting" the outcome. Among the candidates who abstained from the election was Hajo Andrianainarivelo, a former minister who promised to fight against what he saw as an oppressive government and a disregard for the law.
In 2009, Rajoelina, now 49, came to power following the overthrow of Marc Ravalomanana through a coup. He was elected back into office in 2018 after withdrawing from the race in 2013 as a result of pressure from throughout the world. In September 2023, ten opposition candidates criticized the administration for staging a "institutional coup". The opposition were enraged when the Constitutional Court denied pleas to declare Rajoelina's candidacy invalid due to his dual French nationality. According to press sources from earlier this year, he became a naturalized French citizen in 2014.