The national election commission announced that Andry Rajoelina, the president of Madagascar, has won the first round of the election that was boycotted by almost all opposition candidates.
According to data released by the electoral commission, Rajoelina received 58.95% of the votes in the presidential election on November 16th, although the outcome must still be approved by the constitutional court.
The voter turnout for the recent election was approximately 46%, lower than the turnout for the previous presidential election in 2018. The election commission attributed this decrease to the current political atmosphere and the manipulation of public opinion in the island nation of the Indian Ocean.
After the announcement of the results, Rajoelina stated that the Malagasy people have decided to pursue continuity and stability.
In 2009, Rajoelina took office following a rebellion that removed the former president, Marc Ravalomanana. He chose not to participate in the subsequent elections, but managed to successfully return to power in 2018.
Eleven million voters were presented with a choice between Rajoelina and twelve other candidates. Ten of the opposing candidates declined to campaign and encouraged voters to boycott the election, calling it a sham.
Rajoelina, who used to serve as the mayor of Antananarivo, has been accused by his opponents of engaging in corrupt activities, being motivated by greed, and ignoring the exploitation of the nation’s natural resources, particularly its valuable rosewood forests.
The opposition’s collective reply to an inquiry about Rajoelina’s win was, “What outcomes? What vote?”
Opponents stated that they will not acknowledge the outcome of this unlawful election, which is plagued with discrepancies. They also reject any accountability for any potential political and social turmoil that may arise as a result.
The opposing party has not yet stated whether they will officially challenge the outcome and have not requested further protests on the streets.
In the time before the vote, the opposing group, which included two past presidents, organized almost daily protests without authorization. These protests were often broken up by police using tear gas.
The country of Madagascar has been facing chaos following the disclosure in June that Rajoelina had obtained French citizenship in 2014. According to the laws in Madagascar, this action would result in the loss of his Madagascan citizenship and therefore render him ineligible to govern the country, as stated by his critics.
The opposing candidates expressed frustration over what they called an “institutional coup” in support of the current leader, alleging that the government is attempting to re-elect Rajoelina.
They requested that the voting procedure be halted and for global involvement to take place.
Concern has been raised by eight countries and organizations, such as the US and the European Union, regarding the excessive use of force to break up protests by the opposition.
The opposing party has criticized misconduct, such as the closure of voting locations, insufficient ballot boxes, and Rajoelina’s use of government resources for his campaign.
The other remaining opponent, Siteny Randrianasoloniaiko, voiced concerns about concerning discrepancies that have been brought to light, causing doubts about the credibility of the outcome.
On Saturday, Arsene Dama, the leader of the electoral committee, stated that the election occurred under “fair and open circumstances.”
The opposition has raised concerns about Dama’s neutrality.