Madagascar’s highest court is set to announce the official results of last month’s presidential election.While incumbent President Andry Rajoelina won 58.9% of the votes cast in the November 16 election, ten out of twelve candidates refused to accept the results.
Opposition candidates questioned the legitimacy of the elections and discouraged voters from voting, claiming that Rajoelina should be disqualified from leading the country after social media reports indicated that he acquired French nationality in 2014. The legitimacy of the elections was further undermined when two army colonels were detained and charged with inciting a mutiny by attempting to disrupt the election by bribing other army leaders.
Madagascar’s High Constitutional Court is expected to uphold Rajoelina’s victory. In recent years, the court has shown increasing independence from the executive branch and is likely to come to an independent judgment on the credibility of Rajoelina’s victory. While political tensions are expected to flare up, a coup is unlikely and opposition protests will likely be met with tear gas from police forces. The political instability is likely to cause some members of the international community like the United States and the EU to pull back foreign assistance to the aid-dependent country, worsening already rampant poverty for most of Madagascar’s 30 million people.
Andrew Nicholas Prado-Alipui is a graduate of Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations. He has contributed to the Daily Brief as an Analyst focusing on developments in Sub-Saharan Africa He will be pursuing a Master's degree at the University of South Carolina beginning in Fall 2022. Andrew is also a publisher of the Daily Brief.