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Madagascar colonels arrested for election mutiny to appear in court

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Madagascar colonels arrested for election mutiny to appear in court

Madagascar colonels arrested for election mutiny to appear in court

Two colonels arrested for attempting to incite a mutiny during Madagascar’s 2023 presidential election are expected to appear in an Antananarivo court today.

The colonels are charged with attempting to incite the mutiny against then and current president, Andry Rajoelina, in the month before the December election. According to Madagascan authorities, both men attempted to bribe officers in the capital each with approximately $27,500 USD to incite a mutiny in their respective city-based barracks.

President Rajoelina has been in power since a 2009 coup and has been accused of interfering in the independent branches of government (legislative and judicial) since coming to power in 2018. In 2020 for example, Rajoelina’s ruling party in the National Assembly voted to downsize the Senate from 63 to 18 seats, with the power of selecting 6 seats placed in the hands of the President. Earlier in the election cycle, many opposition parties had boycotted the first-round vote, arguing that President Rajoelina had created unfair election conditions, a turnout of less than 50% certainly reflected this sentiment.

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In the short term, expect this case to go to trial in Antananarivo, with the expected outcome being a guilty verdict against both men. As for the long-term outcome here, the President will look to use these court proceedings as a demonstration of deterrence against any other military personnel with similar ideas. This is indicative of what many within Malagasy politics see as a resurgence of authoritarianism in the executive branch of government. If the economic situation remains stable, expect protests from only opposition parties, not the public.

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