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Madagascar president begins new term amid opposition boycott

Source link : https://africa-news.net/africa/madagascar/madagascar-president-begins-new-term-amid-opposition-boycott/

Saturday December 16 2023

Rajoelina became president a first time, without an election, in 2009 after Ravalomanana was ousted in a military mutiny.

President Andry Rajoelina will be sworn in for a new term on Saturday as Madagascar’s leader amidst an opposition boycott and international concerns over the island’s future.

Representatives from other African nations will be at Madagascar’s biggest stadium for the inauguration.

But two former presidents, Marc Ravalomanana and Hery Rajaonarimampianina, who attended the swearing-in for Rajoelina in 2018 are staying away this time.

They are part of an opposition coalition that held near daily protests for weeks before the November 16 vote to condemn what they called a “constitutional coup d’etat” by the president to stay in office.

Read: Polls open in Madagascar presidential poll hit by boycott

Demonstrations have been banned in Antananarivo since Tuesday.

After the election, ambassadors from the European Union, United States and other major donor countries expressed concern at “tensions and incidents” that marked the campaign.

Economy in crisis

The US State Department said that “domestic and international election observers, noted irregularities in the electoral process.”

Western nations said in a joint statement that Rajoelina must “take steps to restore confidence conducive to dialogue” and carry out legal and electoral reforms ahead of future votes.

Rajoelina became president a first time, without an election, in 2009 after Ravalomanana was ousted in a military mutiny.

The president is to set out his priorities in a speech at the inauguration.

Read: Madagascar’s Rajoelina wins presidential polls

The economy is in crisis and Rajoelina has said he will devote his new term to boosting the livelihoods in what is one of the world’s poorest countries, despite its natural wealth.

Criminal charges

The resource-rich island country is the world’s biggest producer of vanilla but a price fall amid sluggish demand in recent years has hit the industry and Madagascar’s balance of payments. 

About 75 percent of the population of 29 million live below the poverty level.

The president has visited poor parts of the capital in recent days handing out solar lamps in areas which have no electricity.

His party has condemned the opposition as “irresponsible” though Rajoelina has said he will work with “constructive” elements.

Some opposition activists have faced criminal charges for taking part in the demonstrations before the election that were often broken up with tear gas.

Ahead of the inauguration, Rina Randriamasinoro, secretary general of the TIM opposition party was jailed for two years for taking part in a banned demonstration.

Source link : https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/tea/rest-of-africa/madagascar-president-starts-new-term-amid-opposition-boycott-4465954?view=htmlamp

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Publish date : 2023-12-16 08:00:00

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Author : africa-news

Publish date : 2024-06-08 22:54:07

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