Madagascar: Presidential Candidates Clash Through the Media

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On their private media channels, both the current President Andry Rajoelina, and the candidates from the “Group of 11” held a public event at 8 PM. During this event, they exchanged verbal criticisms against one another. The previous leader expressed his frustration about the “unreasonable” demands of his opponents, while the “Group of 11” stated that they had tried all options and planned to hold a demonstration on May 13th at 10 AM since no political agreement was reached over the weekend.

“We’ve been dragged through the mud,” begins candidate Andry Rajoelina at the outset of his televised address, “and we didn’t respond. But when the nation is at stake, I cannot remain silent,” he says. “We no longer need a crisis.”

Andry Rajoelina’s adversaries argue that, with his French naturalization, he should have been disqualified from the presidential race. They also claim that the National Independent Electoral Commission and the High Constitutional Court are biased in their favor and should be dissolved. The former president dismisses these accusations and denounces his competitors’ intent to foster a political crisis.

At the same time, on other private television channels, the collective of 11 candidates states that they have no choice but to take to the streets, as all avenues of redress have been exhausted. They say “the time has come” to “restore the rule of law and respect for democracy.” They plan to gather on May 13th from 10 AM, emphasizing that it will be “a peaceful demonstration.”

On his part, the police prefect of Antananarivo promises that “measures will be taken” in response to this planned demonstration in the heart of the capital, which has not received any authorization.


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