ANTANANARIVO (Reuters) – Madagascar’s Supreme Constitutional Court on Friday declared Madagascar’s current resident, Andry Rajoelina, the winner of the elections held on November 16 and granted him a third term after rejecting several challenges to the initial results.
Court President Florent Rakotoriswa said: “Andry Rajoelina has been elected President of the Republic of Madagascar and will assume his duties immediately upon taking the oath.” The court said that he received 58.96% of the votes.
The challenges to the Electoral College’s provisional count, which were rejected, included appeals filed by the second candidate, MP Cetinje Randrianasoloniako. He received 14.39% of the votes, according to the court.
Ten of the 13 candidates boycotted the election but their names were already on the ballot, allowing them to share the rest of the votes cast.
“The elections took place peacefully, and this is evidence that democracy in Madagascar and the Malagasy people have reached political maturity,” Rajoelina told reporters outside the courtroom.
“There will be some changes, but you can’t change the winning team either,” he said.
The November elections were preceded by weeks of protests, with the opposition accusing Rajoelina of creating unfair electoral conditions, and the voter turnout was less than 50%.
Rajoelina denied claims that the vote was unfair and warned the military against attempts to destabilize the country.
Nine foreign embassies, including the US, UK and EU countries, issued a joint statement “referring” to the final results.
“In light of the tensions and incidents that have characterized the electoral process, and the tense political context, it is now up to the newly elected Head of State, along with all stakeholders in the country, to take steps to restore confidence conducive to dialogue.” “The embassies said.
Later, the US State Department said the electoral process “raised some serious concerns that must be addressed for the future peace and well-being of the nation.”
The opposition said that voter turnout in the elections reached 46.35%, which is the lowest in the country’s history.
Hajo Andriananarivelo, a former minister among the candidates who boycotted the elections, vowed to fight what he said was disrespect for the laws of the land and oppression of the people.
“The popular battle begins now,” he said on Thursday.
Rajoelina (49 years old) came to power for the first time in a coup in 2009. He stepped down in 2014 as head of the transitional authority, but became president again after winning the 2018 elections.
Reporting by Lovaswa Rabari, Writing by Bhargav Acharya, Editing by Howard Holland, Frances Kerry and Sandra Maler
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