A highly contested presidential election in Madagascar on Thursday experienced a low turnout, as most opposition candidates boycotted the poll. The country’s electoral commission estimated that only 39 percent of the 11 million registered voters cast their ballots. This figure is significantly lower than the turnout in the previous election, in which approximately 55 percent of voters participated.
The opposition candidates refused to recognize the legitimacy of the election, claiming that it did not meet democratic standards. Hajo Andrianainarivelo, speaking on behalf of 10 of the 12 opposition candidates, stated that the majority of the Malagasy population also rejects the election. The opposition had urged voters to boycott the ballot, denouncing what they called an “institutional coup” in favor of President Andry Rajoelina, who is seeking re-election.
While President Rajoelina expressed confidence in the electoral process and the choice of the Malagasy people, a poor turnout is expected to strengthen the position of the opposition. The opposition has vowed to continue protesting until a fair and transparent election is held.
Madagascar, a country known for its production of vanilla, is also one of the poorest nations in the world, with a history of political and economic challenges since gaining independence from France in 1960. Many voters in the capital, Antananarivo, expressed their dissatisfaction with the election, stating that they were voting despite the lack of credible candidates and campaigns. Some cited the need for a better life as their motivation to participate.
As the results of the election are expected to be announced on November 24, it remains uncertain how the low turnout will impact the political landscape in Madagascar. However, this election has highlighted the deep divisions within the country and the challenges it faces in achieving a truly inclusive and democratic process.
What was the voter turnout in the Madagascar presidential election?
An estimated 39 percent of the 11 million registered voters cast their ballots in the election.
Why did most opposition candidates boycott the election?
The opposition candidates claimed that the election did not meet democratic standards and denounced it as an “institutional coup” in favor of President Andry Rajoelina.
What impact does the low turnout have on the political landscape in Madagascar?
A low turnout is expected to strengthen the opposition’s position and may lead to ongoing protests until a fair and transparent election is held.
When will the election results be announced?
The results of the election are expected to be announced on November 24.