Madagascar. According to Countryaah, the presidential election, which was scheduled for May, was postponed several times. In May, 41 presidential candidates were approved for the elections, which had now been postponed until July. One of them was the interim president and former disc jockey Andry Rajoelina, even though four months earlier he had promised not to stand. Former President Didier Ratsiraka, who returned in April after eleven years in exile, would also appoint, like Lalao Ravalomanana, wife of former president Marc Ravalomanana. President Ravalomanana had been overthrown by Rajoelina in 2009 and had not been allowed to return from his exile in South Africa.
Andry Rajoelina, Didier Ratsiraka and Lalao Ravalomanana were all criticized for running for president. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, SADC Regional Cooperation Organization and the Presidents of South Africa and Tanzania urged them to withdraw their candidacies to give Madagascar a chance to rebuild the country after years of political crisis. The African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) announced that it would not recognize Rajoelina as president if he were re-elected.
At the same time, the EU and France decided to withdraw their financial support for the election. The international pressure meant that Interim President Rajoelina said he was prepared to withdraw his candidacy if others did. He later said that the election might be postponed because the donors had withdrawn the financial support needed to conduct the election.
In June, the government decided to postpone the presidential election until August 23, a date that was later changed to October 25. In August, Madagascar’s electoral court rejected Rajoelinas, Ratsiraka’s and Ravalomanana’s candidacies for violating the law in various ways. The African Union (AU) welcomed the court’s decision, which it believed was an important step in enabling a “transparent and credible presidential election”. In September, the AU lifted the sanctions – including freezing of financial assets – against Rajoelina and 108 other people in his presence that the organization had introduced in March 2010, a year after Rajoelina took power with the help of the army.
On October 25, the presidential election was held with 33 candidates. None of them came close to the 50 percent of the votes required to win in the first round. It was best for former Health Minister Jean Louis Robinson – backed by former President Marc Ravalomanana – who took home just over 20 percent of the vote. Two came with Hery Rajaonarimampianina with about 15 percent of the vote. The comrade and poet Rajaonarimampianina is relatively new as a politician and was supported by interim president Andry Rajoelina. A second round of voting was held between Robinson and Rajaonarimampianina on December 20. Both proclaimed themselves victors and accused each other of cheating. When the votes in most polling stations were counted ten days later, it was clear that Rajaonarimampianina had received more than 53 percent of the vote and thus would have won. Robinson still accused his opponent of electoral fraud. International observers from the EU, among others, described the election as “free, transparent and credible”. The official election result was to be presented in January 2014.