Madagascar: elections, Rajoelina prepares to win

The Independent National Electoral Commission ( Ceni ) said that the former Malagasy president Andry Rajoelina won the first round of the presidential elections last November 7 in Madagascar. Rajoelina won the elections with 39.19 percent of the votes in front of the other former president Marc Ravalomanana , with 35.29 percent. The two former heads of the state will challenge the run-off scheduled for 19 December. These results were however contested by Rajoelina, who denounced alleged “manipulations” in the counting of votes: ” The IT treatment of the results of the vote is not transparent,” said Rajoelina. But also the outgoing president Rajaonarimampianina denounced fraud: ” The vote of citizens has been the victim of manipulation. We will not let the citizens be robbed of their vote “.

The vice-president of the Electoral Commission , Thierry Rakotonarivo , replied to the accusations: ” There is no request made by the representatives of the candidates who have not met. The withdrawal of a representative of a candidate in the observation of the treatment of results will have no impact on the work of the electoral commission “. According to the head of the European Union’s observation mission, Cristian Preda , the vote was ” calm and orderly ” except ” only a small number of irregularities ” that are irrelevant.

10 million Malagasy have voted to choose whether to confirm the outgoing president Rajaonarimampianina. There were 35 candidates who chose to challenge the head of state, including Rajoelina, President from 2009 to 2014, and Ravalomanana, President from 2002 to 2009. In the previous 2013 elections, Ravalomanana was prevented from applying for the international community to because of the violence in 2009 that caused a hundred deaths and favored Rajoelina’s arrival in power.

At the moment, in the country, he supported Fr Eric Franck , director of ‘Radio Don Bosco Madagascar’,   “From this election, the population expects the next head of state to restore the security of a peaceful life: access to food, basic services and the end of attacks and robbery of armed gangs”. Fundamental human rights, like health, are not respected. Then there is “a lot of corruption, often to get a document or a service you have to pay an ‘extra’, and then there is the problem of crime “: an example is the phenomenon of cattle thieves , as reported in May by the first Minister Olivier Mahafaly Solonandrasana .

“The people are poor, but the country is extremely rich in natural resources,” said Father Eric Franck.

And to try to fix the difficult economic situation, on 6 September, Rajaonarimampianina signed an agreement in Beijing to the seventh edition of the ‘ Forum sur la coopération sino-africaine ‘ for the ‘creation of 10,000 direct jobs in Madagascar in the next in years “. The agreement, which sparked much controversy over the outgoing president, between Agence Malagasy de Développement Economique and de Promotion des Entreprises ( Amdp ) and the Chinese consortium um Taihe Century Investments Developments includes 6 projects to be implemented in Madagascar by 2025 and investment would be $ 2.7 billion. The sectors would cover fishing, the fight against illegal fishing, the construction of 330 vessels in the first three years. Only this would give work to 3,600 people. Another project would be for the desalinizzazuione of sea water on the coast of the Androy region, producing 10,000 m3 of fresh water daily.

The current fisheries minister of Madagascar, Augustin Andriamananoro , said that ” this could cause discord and, if we are not prudent, the over-exploitation of our ocean. The natural resources of Madagascar are in danger, especially fish. The fishermen are amazed and terrified.

And according to the online petition ‘ Madagascar: Faire révoquer l’accord de pêche signé avec la Chine ‘, promoted by NGOs and fishermen’s associations, the agreement would be very risky for the environment: « a good number of examples on our planet they prove that China does not respect the environment at all. Their fishing methods are extremely invasive, devastating and non-selective. This will very quickly become a major catastrophe for Madagascar and its population “. For Mihari, which brings together a series of marine associations in Madagascar, “the breadth of this investment is unprecedented in the history of the island. It is a matter of concern for the members of our network and for the whole fisheries sector, above all for the fact that we have very little information regarding the content of the agreement and how it will be implemented ». The agreement provides that the fish will go first to the citizens of Madagascar, but the Agence Malagasy de Développement Economique and de Promotion des Entreprises in the fishing sector has no experience whatsoever.