Elections announced for next year
The president of the Madagascar Independent National Electoral Commission of the Transition (INEC-T), Beatrice Atallah, announced yesterday that the country will hold elections on 8th May 2013. If required there will be a second round runoff on 3rd July.
Ms. Atallah also announced that there will be a parliamentary poll on 3rd July 2013. Communal and Municipal elections will be held on 23rd October 2013.
Although the announcement has been made, there is some question as to the procedure for the election. In 2009 the then president Marc Ravalomanana was ousted by the then opposition leader Andry Rajoelina. Subsequently Mr Ravalomanana fled to South Africa and Andry Rajoelina took over a president. Since then the international community has placed sanctions upon the new regime and has insisted that free elections take place.
In September 2011 the main political parties signed a road map which had been mediated by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) which allowed Rajoelina to stay on as president and for Ravalomanana to return unconditionally. Although the two men met recently, there has been no assurance that Ravalomanana won’t be arrested upon his return.
Nevertheless, the announcement yesterday is a further move forward in trying to resolve the 2009 dispute. Beatrice Atallah stressed that the holding of the elections was also dependent upon the promulgation of a legal framework for the elections and the release of funds by the international community to organise the elections.