Friday, December 20, 2013

Voters unsure Madagascar election will end crisis

Voters in Madagascar are returning to the polls Friday to elect a new president and parliament. Hopes are high that the new leadership will end a five-year political and economic crisis in the Indian Ocean island nation, where a former mayor of the capital, Antananarivo, ousted a democratically elected president in 2009.

The election runoff is being held after the first round on October 25 failed to produce an outright winner.  Richard Jean-Louis Robinson of the Avana party, a former health minister in the government of ousted president Marc Ravalomanana, won about 30 percent of the vote in the first round. His rival, Hery Martial Rokotoarimanana Rajaonarimampianina, former finance minister in the transitional government headed by incumbent Andry Rajoelina, won about 15 percent.

Both candidates have promised to work on national reconciliation if elected, but after years of unrest following the 2009 coup, many in Madagascar are doubtful.The leaders say they want national reconciliation, but they can't even agree on just one debate," said Dizo Henri, a Antananarivo resident.
In 2009, the young mayor of Antananarivo, former disk jockey Andry Rajoelina, ousted the legally elected government of President Marc Ravalomanana with the backing of the army. Violence and political wrangling has left the country without a constitutional government since.

The duration of this crisis has been too long. It's enough. By now we should have an elected president," said Roland Razafi, who is planning to vote at the upcoming poll.After the coup, Madagascar came under international sanctions which caused the nation to lose foreign aid. Its tourism industry suffered as well.Both presidential candidates say they will focus on rebuilding the economy, but political analyst Gilbert Raharizatovo think both lack the necessary experience.

What Madagascar is looking for now is a man who's able to organize [things], who has a vision, so that's called a statesman. In Madagascar, it doesn't really exist. Why? Simply because, in my opinion, a statesman is a man who's been trained for long years to recognize what are the ethics of governance, the deontology of governance or the deontology of politics," said Raharizatovo.Perhaps more importantly, the two candidates are seen as proxies for longtime rivals Rajoelina and Ravalomanana, both of whom are barred from running. For some voters, that means no end to the political impasse.

This election is not a way out of the crisis, but the Madagascan people have no choice other than to choose between the two candidates," said one voter.The run-off is taking place on the same day as parliamentary elections. The newly elected lawmakers will then nominate Madagascar's prime minister.

Source: Voice of  America

Présidentielle malgache: affluence au rendez-vous pour l’ouverture des bureaux de vote

Journée cruciale, ce vendredi 20 décembre 2013 à Madagascar, où les électeurs sont appelés aux urnes pour le deuxième tour de l’élection présidentielle. Ce deuxième tour oppose Robinson Jean-Louis à Hery Rajaonarimampianina. Le premier est soutenu par l’ancien président Marc Ravalomanana et le second par le président de transition Andry Rajoelina. A Antananarivo, les bureaux de vote ont ouvert à 6 heures, heure locale. Et l’affluence semble plus importante qu’au premier tour.

Dans les bureaux de vote visités, il y avait un peu plus d’affluence qu’au premier tour. Ce sont des électeurs motivés, désireux de pouvoir s’exprimer après cinq ans de crise et qui espèrent que le pays sortira de l’ornière grâce à cette élection.Dans certains quartiers, il y a de longues files d’attente. Il faut dire que dans chaque bureau, les électeurs votent deux fois, pour les législatives et la présidentielle. Avec une trentaine de candidats dans certaines circonscriptions pour les législatives, les électeurs mettent plus de temps dans l’isoloir pour trouver le candidat de leur choix. Mais, de manière générale, les gens patientent et tout se passe dans le calme jusqu’à maintenant.

Incidents au premier tour

Car il y avait bien eu des incidents au premier tour, de nombreuses réclamations notamment, concernant essentiellement la liste électorale : 10 % du corps électoral n’était pas inscrit, selon la Cénit. Cela correspond à environ 800 000 personnes.Et la Commission électorale indépendante a essayé de corriger les défauts pour ce deuxième jour de vote : une liste complémentaire a été établie selon certains critères.
Seulement elle ne comporte que 140 000 noms. Il reste encore des électeurs qui sont venus ce matin en espérant voter et qui sont repartis bredouilles.La Cénit a aussi fait des efforts pour faciliter la fluidité dans les grands bureaux de vote. Le personnel qui accueille les électeurs et vérifie les noms sur la liste a été renforcé.

Source: RFI

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Madagascar preparing for Presidential run-off election

Madagascar holds a second round of voting on Friday to complete its first presidential election since a 2009 coup that scared off foreign donors and investors.The two contestants in the run-off vote are not political heavyweights, but are allies of the island's two main rivals: the coup leader-turned-president, Andry Rajoelina, and the man he ousted with the army's help, Marc Ravalomanana. Ravalomanana and Rajoelina had agreed not to run in the election in a regionally-brokered deal to defuse tensions. A last minute attempt by Rajoelina to run when Ravalomanana's wife stepped into the race led to a court order blocking both.

Jean Louis Robinson

The former health minister is backed by Ravalomanana, who has been exiled in South Africa since dissident troops swung behind anti-government protests that led to his 2009 overthrow.The former leader turned to Robinson only after his wife Lalao was barred from running for president. Robinson, 61, emerged the frontrunner in October's first round with 21 percent of the vote and the clear winner in the capital, Antananarivo, where there is widespread frustration at the economic malaise gripping the nickel-producing island.

Robinson, a physician with a black belt in judo, says the political fight won't be over until Ravalomanana returns to the island that lies off southern Africa. He has declared Lalao Ravalomanana will be his prime minister if he wins the vote. She has been glued to his side during campaigning. An adviser to Ravalomanana's first prime minister in 2002, Robinson was health minister in 2004-08 and minister of sports and culture in 2008-09.

He promises an improved version of Ravalomanana's Madagascar Action Plan to promote development in one of Africa's poorest countries by increasing investment, collecting more taxes and launching an agricultural revolution. That plan briefly boosted economic growth to about 7 percent a year before the coup.

Hery Rajaonarimampianina

A finance minister under Rajoelina, 55-year-old Rajaonarimampianina has pitched himself as the best-placed person to marshal a recovery of Madagascar's crippled economy.Donors turned off budgetary aid taps and foreign investors fled after Rajoelina's coup, depriving the government of cash and stunting growth. Even so, policymakers have been praised for keeping spending in check, prices stable and inflation at bay.

Educated in Canada, Rajaonarimampianina's campaign has focused on restoring security, building new roads and improving access to education.He served as finance minister from 2009 to 2013, stepping down to run for president. He is backed by Rajoelina, so likely has the support of the military commanders who backed the former disk jockey's power grab five years ago. He won 16 percent of the vote in the first round and will need to win some of the major coastal cities to offset Robinson's advantage in the capital, analysts say.

Source: Voice of America

Madagascar leader joins campaign

Madagascar’s outgoing President Andry Rajoelina has been aggressive over the recent days while campaigning for his candidate for the runoff election set for December 20.The only time he was unable to attend political rallies since November 29 was when he had to fly to South Africa last Saturday to pay tribute to the late Nelson Mandela.

The leader had disturbing takes less than one week before nearly 7,900,000 voters are expected to elect a new president and deputies next Friday.He used assertive arguments to defend his position while invited at a private-owned TV on Sunday night.The Malagasy nation has its law regarding the presence of any heads of institution at any political meetings. Only they are banned from addressing the crowd,” he claimed.

He added: “There were moments where I really wanted to speak, to take the floor, address the people, and express my opinion. People wanted to hear my voice. But I was obliged to keep silent because of the law,” he stated.The man still believes his popularity has remained intact after a 5-year reign marked by a collapsed economy.Most of the time, people massively gathered in various districts. Once they learnt that I could not address the assistance, they were sad and left the meeting places,” he added.

According to him, his team could easily have won the October 25’s vote if his allies were sufficiently united.Many of our partisans got embarrassed with the numerous candidates of our camp.Many did not vote because they did not know who was the authentic candidate; reason why I had to take a stand to defend the fight for the second round.In effect, the leader of the 2009 popular movement ousting the-then leader Marc Ravalomanana has supported the second top candidate Hery Rajaonarimampianina who was beaten by Dr Robinson Jean Louis backed by deposed president, still exiled in South Africa.

Both two have competed to campaign for their respective proxies in different ways, a situation that has obviously angered Antananarivo.I did a lot when I accepted the rejection of my candidacy to preserve peace in the country,” President Rajoelina reminded.My predecessor, for his part, struggled to campaign for his ally who collected 21 per cent of the votes at the first round.” “As for me, I refrained from appearing during the first round.

But our candidate still got around 16 per cent of the votes.” “I could visit almost all of the districts and I know what people need. What I want to say is time is now for Andry Rajoelina to demonstrate his real force,” the outgoing leader raged.He stressed his clan has always remained powerful even in the capital Antananarivo where people massively voted for the candidate Robinson on October 25.

Source: Daily Nation

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Elections malgaches: fin de la campagne de sensibilisation électorale

A Madagascar, derniers jours de campagne avant les élections ce vendredi 20 décembre. Près de huit millions d’électeurs seront appelés à voter pour le second tour de la présidentielle et pour les législatives. Des élections de sortie de crise après cinq ans de difficultés politiques, économiques et sociales. Tandis que les candidats font leurs derniers meetings, c’est la course contre la montre pour les organisations de la société civile chargées de l’éducation et la sensibilisation électorale.

Dans une fourgonnette à la tôle rouillée, les deux éducateurs parcourent les pistes boueuses du district de Manjakandriana à une cinquantaine de kilomètres de la capitale.Il est huit heures du matin, première étape au marché d’Antsahalalina. Un petit groupe s’approche de la banderole. Et la séance commence par un concours de pliage du bulletin unique.Tout le monde n’est pas au point : « Côté technique au premier tour il y a des électeurs qui ne savaient pas plier le bulletin. Ils étaient pressés de voter, ils l’ont plié, mais sans l’avoir coché », explique Heritiana Alain, membre d’un bureau de vote au premier tour.

La séance se poursuit avec une simulation de vote avec des spécimens des deux bulletins. Deux bulletins de tailles différentes pour les deux élections, deux urnes, deux listes d’émargement. « Il est nécessaire de faire cette campagne de sensibilisation, car c’est la première fois à Madagascar qu’on utilise le bulletin unique. Et en plus, dans un deuxième temps c’est un processus assez compliqué pour le deuxième tour qui est jumelé avec les législatives », témoigne Hery Manantsoa, animateur et coordonnateur de la sensibilisation dans toute la région. Au premier tour, plus de 6% des bulletins étaient blancs ou nuls.

Source: RFI

Ecowas observer mission commends Malians for successful parliamentary elections

The Ecowas Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Mali’s second-round Parliamentary polls on 15th December has commended Malians for their peaceful conduct and the “imminent successful conclusion of the political transition” in the country following its security and political crises from last year.

 In its 14-point Preliminary Declaration, the 50-member Mission led by Prof. Amos Sawyer, Liberia’s former President of Government of National Unity, adjudged the elections as “having taken place in acceptable conditions of freedom and transparency,” adding that “some incidents” observed in a few polling stations and the “low voter turnout did not in any way lower the conduct of the elections below internationally accepted standards.”

 I am optimistic that Mali is on the right path,” Prof. Sawyer said at a press conference after the release of the Declaration.He described the elections as “another milestone in the rebuilding of democratic institutions that should be accompanied by national dialogue and reconciliation,” noting that with the support of the international community mobilized by ECOWAS, much progress would be achieved.

Source: AFP

Monday, December 16, 2013

Mali elections overshadowed by suicide bombing

Malians began voting on Sunday in the second round of parliamentary elections intended to cap the nation's return to democracy, but overshadowed by the deaths of two UN peacekeepers in an Islamist attack.The polls mark the troubled west African nation's first steps to recovery after it was upended by a military coup in March last year, finalising a process begun with the election of its first post-conflict president in August.

Turnout looked low as polling stations opened in the capital Bamako, sparking fears that voters would be scared away by an upsurge in violence by Al Qaeda-linked rebels against African troops tasked with election security alongside the Malian army.Two Senegalese UN peacekeepers were killed and seven wounded on Saturday when a suicide bomber ploughed his explosives-laden car into a bank they were guarding in the northeastern rebel bastion of Kidal.

Sultan Ould Badi, a Malian jihadist linked to several armed groups, said the attack was in retaliation for African countries' support of a French-led military operation launched in January against Islamist rebels in northern Mali, which ethnic Tuareg's call "Azawad".We are going to respond all across Azawad and in other lands... with other operations against France's crusades," he told AFP by telephone. Senegalese President Macky Sall said the attack would "in no way undermine the strong commitment of Senegal to Mali" in a statement published by the state news agency APS.

These two soldiers, killed in battle, had gone into Mali to defend democracy, freedom and peace," he added.The French army has been carrying out an operation against armed Islamists north of the desert caravan town Timbuktu over the past week.The offensive targeting Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is a "huge military operation, the largest in the Timbuktu region since the major northern cities were retaken by allied forces", an African military source in Timbuktu told AFP.Twenty jihadists have been killed so far, according to French and African military sources.

Voting a 'moral duty'

In the first round of the election on November 24 just 19 of the national assembly's 147 seats were allocated, with turnout at 38.6 percent, a drop of almost 13 percentage points from the first round of the presidential vote.After the first round of the parliamentary election, Louis Michel, chief of the European Union observation mission, called on "all political actors" to turn out in the second round Sunday.
In the specific context of Mali, voting is not only a right, it is a moral duty," he said.

But the campaign failed to capture the imagination of the electorate and many analysts in Bamako are expecting feeble participation.An AFP correspondent waited half an hour at a polling station in the Hamdallaye district of Bamako before seeing the first voter arrive.Regarding the organisation, everything is ready but as regards the turnout... I do not think there will be many people, like last time," said Badra Traore, the chief official in the voting centre.

In the restive north, the voting opened in the Gao and Timbuktu regions, with seats in Kidal decided in the first round. Two of the new intake are former rebels who laid down their arms to join President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita's ruling Rally For Mali (RPM).The operation here in Timbuktu is going well. For a start, women are the most numerous voters," said the city's mayor, Halle Ousmane Cisse. Fifty-two polling stations are open. Election materials are in place. It is calm here for the moment, and this is very important."

Maiga Seyma, the deputy mayor of Gao, said turnout appeared to be good in its 88 polling stations and the voting had opened in an atmosphere of calm, although residents told AFP in Timbuktu and Gao that locals were frightened by the possibility of Islamist attacks.The RPM has vowed to deliver "a comfortable majority" to smooth the path for reforms Keita plans to put in place to rebuild Mali's stagnant economy and ease the simmering ethnic tensions in the north.

But analysts have speculated that the RPM may have to form a coalition with the Alliance for Democracy in Mali, one of the country's most established parties, which was split during the presidential polls between Keita and his rival, Soumaila Cisse.Cisse, who is vying to represent the Union for the Republic and Democracy (URD) in his home region of Timbuktu, aims to become the leader of the parliamentary opposition.

He was among the fiercest opponents of former junta chief Amadou Sanogo, who has recently been charged with murder, complicity to murder and carrying out kidnappings after overthrowing the democratically elected government in March last year. Sunday's election is being supervised by hundreds of Malian and international observers who will mainly stick to Bamako and central Mali, with the north considered too dangerous.

Source: AFP

Friday, December 13, 2013

Madagascar: Televised debate yesterday between Jean-Louis Robinson and Hery Rajaonarimampianina

The two candidates, Jean-Louis Robinson and Hery Rajaonarimampianina, qualified on December 20 for the second round of the presidential election clashed last night in a televised debate, as reported by the Midi Madagasikara newspaper. For Jean-Louis Robinson who came to head on 25 October last with 21.16% of the votes cast and 949.987 voice, Madagascar must find the place that is hers in the international community.
We need aggressive diplomacy in the service of the economy and development for the welfare of the Malagasy", he said. Jean-Louis Robinson also promised that "Madagascar will be the friend of all and the enemy of person". During the transition, you have resorted to secret financing because you are not recognized by the international community," said Jean-Louis Robinson at his opponent.
For its part, Hery Rajaonarimampianina (15.85% of the vote and 711,534 votes) wishes to engage an economic struggle with diplomacy as the primary tool of leverage. We will conduct economic diplomacy. But our bilateral and multilateral relations will be dictated by the concept of respect for national sovereignty," highlighted Hery Rajaonarimampianina.
To recap, Jean-Louis Hery Rajaonarimampianina Robinson and qualified for the second round of presidential elections are supported for the first, by former President Marc Ravalomanana, and the second by the current president of the Transition, Andry Rajoelina.

Source: Indian Ocean Times


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mozambique local elections official results announced

The Mozambique electoral commission has announced official results of the municipal elections held in November, showing significant gains by a new opposition party.The Frelimo party won 50 urban areas, but lost three of the four largest cities to the opposition who also gained council seats throughout the country, in all but two of the urban areas.

According to official results announced by the National Electoral Commission (CNE) last Friday, the Frelimo party won the mayor and council in 50 urban areas but lost Beira and Quelimane to the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM). Results are not yet official for the city of Nampula where the election was repeated due to irregularities, but preliminary results show a gain by MDM, and Frelimo has conceded defeat.

That leaves the capital city, Maputo, with the Frelimo party after scraping through with 37 of the 64 seats in council. Frelimo’s winning candidate for mayor of Maputo, David Simango, has a very similar name to the leader of the opposition who is mayor of Beira, Daviz Simango.The official results are still to be validated by proclamation of the Constitutional Council. Both parties have expressed satisfaction with their performance.

This is the first time MDM has entered party candidates to contest the local elections since breaking away from the Mozambique Resistance Movement (Renamo) in 2009.Daviz Simango was first elected mayor of Beira in 2003 on a Renamo ticket, and in 2008 as an independent candidate, before forming the MDM to contest national elections in 2009. He gained 8.6 percent of the vote in the presidential election in 2009, compared to 16.4 percent for the Renamo leader, Afonso Dhlakama, and 75 percent for incumbent President Armando Guebuza standing for his second term.

The MDM is now well-placed to contest national elections in 2014, and planned to hold its first national congress in early December. Simango has already announced that he will contest the presidency of the country in national elections set for 15 October.President Guebuza is completing his second term in office and will not stand again, but Frelimo has not yet announced its candidate to replace him.

MDM has also declared its intention to win a majority in parliament, where it holds eight seats gained in 2009 elections to Renamo’s 51 and 191 won by Frelimo.Mozambique’s parliamentary elections use a system of proportional representation by province, rather than individual constituencies and the vote in major cities will have an impact.

Renamo did not contest local elections and is unlikely to contest national elections again, as resources and supporters have shifted their focus to MDM. However, Renamo has continued to threaten stability with a spate of armed attacks in the centre of the country, most recently raiding a police post and medical centre in early December at Tica, some 75km northwest of Beira, after the defence ministry announced that 10 people have died in attacks in the last six weeks.

Source: The Herald

Madagascar: la diplomatie au menu des débats entre les deux candidats à la présidence

Madagascar, le scrutin jumelé présidentielle - législatives a lieu dans 8 jours, le 20 décembre. Au second tour de la présidentielle, Robinson Jean Louis, soutenu par l’ancien président Ravalomanana, affrontera dans les urnes le candidat de Rajoelina, Hery Rajaonarimampianina. Durant la campagne, la Commission électorale organise trois débats entre les deux candidats. Le deuxième a eu lieu hier, mercredi 11 décembre, en partie en français : il portait sur la politique diplomatique et la place de Madagascar dans le monde. Un domaine plutôt consensuel pour les deux adversaires.

Lors de ce deuxième débat, les deux candidats défendent l’un après l’autre  une diplomatie au service du développement » du pays. Après cinq ans de crise et de mise au ban de la communauté internationale, le retour de la confiance et la reprise de la collaboration avec les partenaires étrangers est une priorité.C’est en ce moment la République des copains et des coquins », attaque Robinson Jean Louis. Il évoque ainsi la nomination récente d’une proche d’Andry Rajoelina à l’ambassade de Genève. Et durant tout le débat, le candidat de la mouvance Ravalomanana maintient sa stratégie : il dénonce « les putschistes de 2009 » et le sombre bilan de la Transition.

Hery Rajaonarimampianina préfère se projeter dans l’avenir. « Je vous rassure, dit-il aux diplomates nombreux dans la salle, j’ai un programme. Et la bonne gouvernance est une priorité. » Il se montre moins offensif que son adversaire, mais ne manque pas d’attaquer Robinson Jean Louis sur son appartenance au parti socialiste français. « C’est une grande menace à la souveraineté », lance-t-il, « Je ne comprends pas cette affiliation ». Réponse de Robinson Jean Louis : il aurait mis cette activité « en veilleuse » depuis sa candidature. De la même manière qu’il aurait « pris congé » d’une grande loge maçonnique.

Source: RFI

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Guinea-Bissau: Security Council warns of potential sanctions if election is hindered.

The United Nations Security Council has urged a return to constitutional order in Guinea-Bissau, which has postponed presidential and legislative elections until next year, and warned that it would consider further measures – such as sanctions – against anyone who hampers such efforts in the West African country.  “The Security Council urges stakeholders in Guinea-Bissau, including political and military leaders to refrain from any action that could hamper the electoral process and the implementation of reforms, which are key to the long-term stability,” the 15-member body said in a presidential statement.

Constitutional order has still not been restored in Guinea-Bissau, which is recovering from an April 2012 coup. A transitional Government led by Transitional President Serifo Nhamadjo is in place until elections are held. The presidential and legislative elections were to have been held last month but have now been scheduled for 16 March 2014. The Security Council urges the Authorities in charge of the transitional period to ensure there is no further delay or postponement that could further affect the already fragile socioeconomic, security, humanitarian and human rights situation in Guinea-Bissau,” according to the statement.

The Council also expressed grave concern at the recent security deterioration in the country, “including many cases of violations and abuses of human rights and acts of violence against persons and property, intimidation, threats and restrictions of freedom of expression and assembly” reportedly carried out by State and non-State armed elements. Such acts of insecurity create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation among people, and coupled with political tensions, “undermine an environment conducive to the holding of timely, credible, peaceful and inclusive elections.”

Members of the Council called on the Government to ensure the safe full and equal participation of society, in particular women. Briefing the Council in late November, Jose Ramos-Horta, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN political mission in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), said that lengthy consultations among national stakeholders to agree on the voter registration system and to finalize the electoral budget and timeline contributed to the delayed elections, and affected logistics, including the mobilization of required resources to hold the polls. In the statement, the Council also reiterated concerns about the “prevailing culture of impunity and lack of accountability” in the country, and continued drug-trafficking in the country as well as across its borders.

Source: SAFPI

Présidentielle à Madagascar: un décret fait polémique en pleine campagne électorale

A Madagascar, la campagne pour la présidentielle et les législatives se poursuit, dans le calme, et dans une certaine illégalité aussi. En effet, le décret du gouvernement, daté du mois d'août 2013, qui permet la participation des chefs d'institution et autres ministres aux campagnes de leurs différents poulains, a été maintenu par le Conseil d'Etat, alors qu'il est contraire à la loi électorale.

Le Conseil d'Etat avait pourtant été saisi d'une plainte de la société civile concernant ce décret, mais, selon des informations obtenues par RFI, cette plainte a été rejetée, car elle était hors délais. Selon des documents que RFI a pu consulter, le Conseil d'Etat a rejeté la double requête déposée par la société civile : l'annulation d'une part, le sursis à exécution d'autre part, du décret 2013-593, autrement dit celui qui autorise les chefs d'institutions à participer aux campagnes électorales de leurs candidats favoris.

Par exemple, Andry Rajoelina qui assiste aux meetings d'Hery Rajaonarimampianina Autre détail, ce décret, adopté au mois d'août, a été contresigné - entre autres - par le candidat à la présidentielle Hery Rajaonarimampianina, alors ministre des Finances. Pour Jean-Eric Rakotoarisoa, professeur de droit à l'université d'Antananarivo, c'est évidemment « maladroit sur un plan déontologique.

Source: RFI

Sadc to deploy 256 election observers to Madagascar

The Southern African Development Community will deploy 256 observers during the second round of Madagascar’s presidential elections that will be held jointly with the legislative elections on December 20, the community’s liaison office in Madagascar said yesterday. The observer mission which will be led by Namibia’s Foreign Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, will be deployed in Madagascar’s 119 districts.

The conformity of the electoral process to the Madagascan law in the first place as well as to the SADC principles will be observed in these double elections, the source from the liaison office added. During the first round of Madagascar’s presidential elections on October 25, international organisations and diplomatic missions accredited to the country deployed close to 800 international observers.

Source: The Herald

Monday, December 9, 2013

Madagascar Elections 2013 : Andry Rajoelina fait la loi et les candidats

29 novembre 2013, le départ est donné pour la double campagne électorale, le second tour de la présidentielle et les élections législatives cumulés le 20 décembre. Si la Commission électorale s’est faite discrète, Andry Rajoelina et son ministre de l’Intérieur a réussi à changer quelques dispositions du code électoral et contourner la Feuille de route pour permettre au chef de la transition d’être le visage de ses candidats à la présidentielle et aux législatives.

Il est le candidat virtuel et omnipotent de ces élections malgaches, car son ombre plane à la fois sur la présidentielle et les législatives. Il, c’est évidement Andry Rajoelina qui a revendiqué la paternité du candidat Hery Rajaonarimampianina pour être tête d’affiche au second tour avant d’enfanter 117 candidats à la députation. Non, il ne viole plus la loi puisqu’il l’a changé une énième fois en sa faveur.

C’est par un décret pris en conseil des ministres que Andry Rajoelina a décidé qu’il peut s’afficher physiquement et sur les supports de communication des candidats. En tant que premier chef d’institution, il se libère du devoir de neutralité et de réserve préconisé par la Feuille de route. Tout cela parce que le président qu’il a renversé par le coup d’Etat militaro-civil de 2009 a participé de son exil en Afrique du Sud à la campagne de Jean Louis Robinson.

Avant même dont la loi ne soit changée, Andry Rajoelina devenu homme-parti a déjà annoncé la couleur. La couleur orange est ressortie pour rappeler non pas le semblant de parti TGV mais le mouvement populaire qui a conduit au coup d’Etat de 2009. Une semaine avant le début officiel de la campagne électorale, il s’affiche sur les télévisions pour annoncer la présentation de ses candidats. Ces derniers ont eux aussi profité du laxisme de la CENIT pour s’afficher sur des larges panneaux publicitaires.

Ils seront 117 à essayer de se faire élire grâce au nom du chef de la Transition. C’est pour la première fois que des candidats sont ceux d’un individu, même pas d’une mouvance politique. Il est clair que Andry Rajoelina veut garder le pouvoir par tous les moyens en mettant sous sa coupe Hery Rajaonarimampianina, le candidat présenté par Kolo Roger et Jules Etienne au premier tour. Il espère aussi avoir le contrôle sur le poste de premier ministre qui, selon la logique politique, devrait lui revenir.

Pourquoi les observateurs disent qu’Andry Rajoelina veut devenir un premier ministre qui aura sous ses ordres le potentiel président de la République si Hery Rajaonarimampianina se fait élire. Tout d’abord, on y voit un scénario à la Poutine. Inéligible ou empêché d’être candidat, il devient premier ministre et garde les rennes de l’Etat en plaçant son poulain avant de briguer la magistrature suprême au prochain mandat.

Ensuite, les 117 candidats orange ne sont pas du TGV mais « Miaraka amin’i Andry Rajoelina », avec la personne et non pas le parti qui a eu le malheur d’avoir investi Edgard Razafindravahy comme candidat à la présidentielle. Enfin, Andry Rajoelina a fixé une règle trop précise pour ne pas être d’un pur calcul politique : si un parti ou un groupe parlementaire a la majorité à l’Assemblée, il nomme directement un premier ministre sans qu’un vote ne soit nécessaire.

Andry Rajoelina fait donc cavalier seul et écarte les alliés naturels de Hery Rajaonarimampianina qu’il veut faire élire en intervenant directement dans la campagne. Aucun des candidats crédités de 4% et plus ne s’est prononcé en faveur du Hery Vaovao alors que Jean Louis Robinson peut déjà compter sur le parti Vert de Saraha Georget et le Hiaraka isika de Camille Vital. Tout le monde veut lutter contre les candidats de l’homme-Etat qui veut régner sans partage dans sa 4ème république.

Source: News 33

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Présidentielle malgache: un premier débat télévisé musclé

À Madagascar, les deux candidats qualifiés pour le deuxième tour de la présidentielle, Robinson Jean Louis et Hery Rajaonarimampianina, ont débattu pendant près de deux heures ce mercredi 4 décembre en direct à la télévision. Premier débat d'une série de quatre. Pour chacun, cela a été aussi l'occasion de se positionner de manière claire sur l'échiquier politique malgache, de manière plutôt virulente.

Le débat entre les deux candidats au second tour de l’élection présidentielle malgache n’a commencé que depuis 40 minutes que soudain, c’est le clash. Robinson Jean Louis, soutenu par l'ancien président Marc Ravalomanana, renversé en 2009, interpelle directement Hery Rajaonarimampiania, candidat soutenu par Andry Rajoelina et ministre des Finances de 2009 à 2013. Il lui reproche de n’avoir rien fait pendant quatre ans.

À chaque question posée par les journalistes, Robinson Jean Louis répondra ainsi d'abord par cette attaque politique, doublée d'un état des lieux catastrophique de la Transition. Hery Rajaonarimampianina, lui, se positionnera systématiquement comme un candidat qui veut regarder vers l'avenir, un technicien qui vient apporter des solutions.

Sur le fond, il s'agissait d'un débat économique et social. Concernant les prix du carburant qui sont subventionnés à Madagascar, Robinson Jean Louis propose par exemple de prolonger la subvention de l'État pendant un an. Hery Rajaonarimampiania souhaite quant à lui que les plus riches paient plus. Sur l'agriculture, Robinson Jean Louis propose de créer 22 lycées agricoles, un dans chaque région ; Hery Rajaonarimampianina, lui, cinq usines à engrais biologique dans tout le pays.

Les deux candidats s'embrassent avant de quitter le plateau sous les applaudissements du public. Le prochain débat aura lieu mercredi 11 décembre et portera sur la diplomatie et les relations internationales et il aura lieu en français.

Source: RFI

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Mauritania ruling party wins legislative election

Mauritania's ruling party has achieved a great victory in parliamentary and local elections, while a Muslim party has come second, the elections commission says. The commission said on Tuesday that based on the results from 121 seats which were won in the first round, the ruling Union for the Republic (UPR) and its allied parties have won a large majority in the 147-seat parliament, AFP reported.

The UPR won 56 seats and another 34 seats were won by 14 small parties associated with the ruling party. The main Muslim party Tewassoul, which was being closely-watched as it took part in elections for the first time, won 12 seats. Three other opposition parties won 19 seats in the elections, which were held on November 23. The national electoral commission postponed the second round of voting for the remaining 26 seats for two weeks until December 21.

Tewassoul was the only member of the 11-party Coordination of Democratic Opposition (COD) to resist an election boycott. In municipal elections, the UPR has already won 81 of 218 local councils across the country. Tewassoul won three and El-Wiam, another opposition party, took two.A remaining 120 councils will be determined in the run-off vote.

The voter turnout was announced to be a record-breaking 75 percent of the 1.2 million registered voters across the country. The first local and legislative elections in the West African country since 2006 were viewed as a test of strength for President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, five years after he came to power in a coup and four years after he won the presidential vote.

Source: PressTV

Monday, December 2, 2013

Mauritania’s ruling party wins majority in first round polls

Mauritania’s ruling Union for the Republic Party has managed to win 37 parliamentary seats in the first round of the polls held last month, the independent election commission has announced. Opposition parties have managed to win 14 seats only, the commission added in a press conference.

The ruling party and the opposition contest a total of 147 seats in Mauritania’s legislative elections.  An election runoff is slated for this month with 56 seats in 25 constituencies is up for grabs. The election commission is due to announce the results of the national list of the candidates competing at the national level and the national women’s list of the candidates running for women-only seats later on Sunday.

Source: AA