Victory by knockout, in the first round. Andry Rajoelina had no trouble winning the Malagasy presidential election in the first round, obtaining 58.95% of the votes cast, according to the electoral commission (Ceni) count released on November 25. “I will be the president of all Malagasy people,” he declared, the result immediately known. “This victory is that of all Malagasy people, without exception,” he insisted.
A victory for all Malagasy people, really? We can doubt it, given the historic level reached by abstention. Because 54% of the 11 million voters boycotted this first round. Abstainers were therefore more numerous than participants: a result which reveals the massive extent of rejection, distrust or indifference towards the electoral process. Participation is in clear decline, if we compare it to the previous presidential election of 2018 where it was 54.23% in the first round. It is even in free fall compared to the 2013 presidential election, when it was 64%.
Boycott of the presidential election
This new situation is explained by the boycott of the presidential election decided by the main opposition candidates (10 out of the 12 running against the outgoing president), including the two former presidents Hery Rajaonarimampianina and Marc Ravalomanana. They withdrew from the electoral process to denounce the illegitimacy of Andry Rajoelina’s candidacy after discovering that he had obtained French naturalization, discreetly, in 2014. This revelation caused a stir on the Big Island where relations with the former colonial power are not peaceful. Lacking a choice, most voters did not come out to take part in a predetermined election, since Andry Rajoelina no longer had a serious candidate facing him.
Of course, the opposition denounced the result of the CENI “We will not recognize the results of this illegitimate election, riddled with irregularities, and we decline all responsibility for the political and social instability that could result from it”, a- she warned in a joint statement. However, she did not call on the Malagasy people to take to the streets to reject the re-election of Andry Rajoelina. An attitude that contrasts with the calls to demonstrate that she launched almost daily and for weeks before the presidential election. Demonstrations which did not meet with popular success, and which were regularly dispersed with tear gas.
Take note of Andry Rajoelina’s victory
On the international level, we take note of this provisional result, following the example of the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF). A minimal recognition that she counterbalanced by declaring that she “notes a divided Malagasy society, and expresses its deep concern about the post-electoral phase with high risks of protests and persistent tensions”.
The High Constitutional Court (HCC) has nine days, that is to say until December 4, to proclaim the final results of this election. Rumor has it in Antananarivo that the HCC should make this proclamation on Friday December 1st.