Siteny Randrianasoloniako, the President of the African Judo Union, has officially declared his candidacy for the presidential election scheduled for November 9th in Madagascar. Following an extensive tour of the island nation, Randrianasoloniako, who also serves as the President of the Malagasy Olympic Committee, has identified three key priorities for the country: access to clean water, agricultural development, and healthcare.
The current head of the Malagasy Olympic Committee aims to present a comprehensive program aligned with the needs of the Malagasy people and usher in a transformative shift in the nation’s political landscape. Addressing a gathering of supporters in his stronghold of Tuléar, a major city on the southwest coast of the island where he has served as a member of parliament for the past decade, Randrianasoloniako emphasized his commitment to democracy. He pointedly stated, “What sets me apart from others is my unwavering belief in democracy. I did not partake in the 2002 coup d’état. I was not involved in the 2009 coup d’état. I had no hand in the destabilization of 2017.”
While he has signed the code of conduct for candidates, Randrianasoloniako, a native of Tuléar who also owns local media outlets, has not refrained from distributing campaign-themed t-shirts to the population—a common practice in Madagascar that has drawn criticism from civil society.
Randrianasoloniako explained, “My objective is to make Madagascar a prosperous island. We cannot achieve this without being elected as president. Eighty percent of Malagasy people cannot read or write. That’s why we must display our colors, and it is through these colors that we can communicate with these Malagasy citizens. That’s why we have these t-shirts. I don’t appreciate this practice, but we have no choice.” According to the latest national census conducted in 2021, 69% of the Malagasy population is literate in the Malagasy language.