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Madagascar Heads to the Polls in an Election Boycotted by the Opposition

Roland Ratsiraka, a prominent opposition candidate, emphasized that the necessary conditions for a transparent and widely accepted presidential election have not been met. His brief statement underscores the opposition’s scepticism about the integrity of the electoral process. Hajo Andrianainarivelo, another opposition candidate, clarified that their objection is not a complete boycott of the elections, as they are active participants as candidates. However, he expressed dissatisfaction with the November 16 date, asserting that the election, as currently planned, falls short of meeting the necessary standards. Ten out of 12 opposition candidates in Madagascar on Tuesday called on voters to shun a presidential election scheduled for Thursday, amid concerns about the vote’s regularity. For weeks, the Indian Ocean island nation has been shaken by a fierce battle between President Andry Rajoelina, who is running for re-election, and most opposition leaders, who have complained about an “institutional coup” to favour of the incumbent.