Madagascar on spotlight for disorderly municipal polls

Madagascar has rejected the involvement of foreign observers in next year’s parliamentary elections.
However, international observers, including diplomats posted in Antananarivo, were allowed to be present during the local government polls on Friday.
The 2016 parliamentary elections will be different from the previous legislative polls in 2013, when monitors from the European Union, the African Union, the 15-nation regional bloc SADC, the Francophone International Organisation, and the US-based National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, were allowed in.
Their recommendations covered all the steps of the electoral process starting from the elaboration of the electoral list.
They also stressed on what officials, citizens, and any other stakeholders including donors, had to do.
The organisation of the local government polls held on Friday across Madagascar did not reflect which improvements were undertaken.
Many irregularities were reported especially during the polling day
The name of one of the candidates, Dr Harimanana Raniriarinosy, who was one of nine contestants in the capital Antananarivo representing former president Didier Ratsiraka’s party, was not found in the electoral list.
The veteran leader and one of his daughters, like the candidate himself, were unable to cast their ballots.
Provisional outcomes
Mr Ratsiraka has called for the cancellation of the local government polls, citing poor organisation.
General Camille Vital – who was prime minister under former president Andry Rajoelina, and was one of presidential hopefuls in 2013 – could not cast his ballot for the same reason of a disorderly electoral list.
He however won the Toliara mayoral seat, according to the provisional outcomes.
The impossibility for many candidates to cast their ballots was thought to be flagrant and deliberate.
Malagasy law stipulates any person whose name is inscribed in the electoral list can file his candidacy. This means that a person whose name does not appear on the list is disqualified to run for electoral office.
“We ar to insure that the polls take place in quietness and in transparency. Madagascar should consolidate her democracy, and we are doing what we can to help the country in that way,” Mr Jonas Mfouatie, the UNDP’s deputy resident representative, stated.
The foreign observers are expected to give their comments in the coming days following countless queries received from all corners of the country.