President Hery Rajaonarimampianina of Madagascar has stepped down in order to contest for the upcoming elections in November and December 2018. This is in line with the constitutions wherein the president is supposed to step down before contesting for a new mandate.
Rajaonarimampianina declared that: “The time has come for me to resign in accordance with the constitution and today I have submitted my request to the constitutional court”. Rajaonarimampianina will be contesting the Madagascar election alongside 46 candidates and his two predecessors.
The first round of the elections will be on 07 November 2018 while the second round will be on 19 December 2018. It is believed by the Government of Madagascar that the publication of the electoral calendar will calm the political tension in the country.
A protest was made back in April and June over Rajaonarimampianina’s efforts to change Madagascar election laws which were intended to favor his party. According to a review by the BBC:
Hery Rajaonarimampianina was chosen as president in January 2014 in an election seen as a major step towards restoring democracy. The African Union lifted its four-year suspension of Madagascar shortly after his swearing-in, hailing what it called “inclusive, credible and legitimate” elections, the first since a 2009 coup.
Hery Rajaonarimampianina, 55 at the time of taking office, called for national unity and reached out to political rivals to help return the country to its past glory. The Canadian-educated former finance minister was backed in the elections by the country’s former strongman Andry Rajoelina.
It is commonplace for African leaders to twist electoral laws to suit them while in power. Most of these leaders seek to stay in power for as long as possible and often plan to transfer power to close relatives. This state of affairs is bad for African democracy and has often led to violence.
See more DC Madagascar coverage here.