In Madagascar, the FFKM, the Ecumenical Council of Christian Churches of Madagascar, has expressed its concern for the first time regarding the tense political situation in the country, less than two months before the first round of the presidential election. Faced with growing tensions surrounding the electoral process, religious leaders intend to act as mediators.
Within 24 hours, a flurry of meetings has taken place. On Tuesday, September 26, the four church leaders met with 12 out of the 13 candidates. On Wednesday, September 27, in the morning, the UN special mission, which arrived overnight, also visited the headquarters of the Christian organization to begin a week of consultations.
With restraint and without ever uttering the word “crisis,” the FFKM acknowledged that the situation was far from good. Speaking to the press, Pastor Ammi Andriamahazosoa, President of the Ecumenical Council of Christian Churches of Madagascar, explained, “The country is going through a delicate period. Many people are worried about their future. The FFKM calls on everyone to turn to God. […] Let the provocations cease. Let the greater good of our population and our country prevail.”
As soon as the media left the room, the envoys of the UN mission for monitoring the preparation of the presidential election, who had arrived a few hours earlier in Madagascar, also entered the room. The mission is led by Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General to the African Union. No information was disclosed from this meeting. However, religious leaders have promised to organize another meeting with the candidates to maintain dialogue.
On the other hand, the collective of 11 candidates announced on Wednesday evening that they would suspend their pre-campaign activities starting from Saturday to protest the “unequal treatment” they have received compared to candidate Andy Rajoelina. The 11 candidates accuse the interim government and electoral institutions of repeatedly violating existing regulations to favor the incumbent president by all means possible.