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Ex-president Rajoelina closes in on Madagascar election win

Former Madagascan president Andry Rajoelina was set to return to power as partial election results on Saturday gave him a clear lead over his rival Marc Ravalomanana, who has alleged the vote count was fraudulent.


Having counted 3 million ballots out of about 5 million casts, Rajoelina was leading with a percentage 55.1% against 44.8% for Ravalomanana after Dec 19. run-off election, the electoral commission revealed. Full results are due on January 9 next year. After the official announcement of the vote results, any candidate can then challenge the results in court in case of doubt.

Worth noting is the point that both leaders Rajoelina and Ravalomanana cited instances of fraud during the election runoff. This fact alone may largely affect the outcome of the December 19 election runoff, raising the risk of political instability in the country.

“We are still waiting for the full results but I believe that the current results are irreversible. Victory is ours!” Hajo Andrianainarivelo, a senior member of Rajoelina’s team said. On the other hand, Hanitra Razafimanantso, a lawmaker close to Ravalomanana, said they wanted transparency over how the vote was being counted.

“We have heard that the publication of the results has been made so far on the basis of scanned return sheets. We demand the actual returns because we suspect manipulation,” he noted in a statement.

Speaking on Friday, EU election observers denied any evidence of election malpractice during the rerun vote.  According to the head of the observer mission, Madagascans voted in a peaceful atmosphere in a transparent and well-organized poll. The election runoff was scheduled after a candidate failed to win an outright majority in the first round of voting on November 7, 2018

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