Madagascar Gears Up for Elections with Nearly 11.5 Million Expected Voters

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The “annual electoral list revision” outcomes were unveiled yesterday, on Friday, March 1st. This yearly process aims to cleanse the national electoral list and include individuals who were previously unregistered. It marks a pivotal step in this year’s electoral calendar, with legislative elections scheduled for May, followed by municipal elections in November.

According to Arsène Dama, the President of Madagascar’s National Independent Electoral Commission (Céni), this year’s annual revision of the electoral list was a success. “We have recorded a little over 438,000 more voters compared to the list finalized on July 20, 2023,” he stated. This translates to an increase of nearly 4% in the number of registered voters. With a population of 28 million, the country now boasts almost 11.5 million eligible voters.

Archaic Process?

However, many perceive the annual revision process as cumbersome, costly, and archaic, with the reliability of the revised list often questioned. While the Céni president asserts that the revision “was carried out according to standards,” he acknowledges the need for improvement.

“We aimed to accelerate the process. After the municipal elections in November, our goal is to transition from the current system to a biometric system,” he explained. “But this requires careful study and financial management.

Furthermore, transitioning to biometrics is not solely the responsibility of the Céni; it requires collaboration with the Ministry of the Interior and coordination of multiple activities. However, it will be a priority during our mandate, and we will initiate the process after the municipal elections at the end of the year.”

EU Observation Report

The head of the Céni also confirmed receiving the observation report prepared by the European Union’s (EU) electoral experts regarding the November presidential election. “Regarding the recommendations directly addressed to the Céni, we are ready to consider them,” he emphasized. However, the report has not been made public yet. “Contractually, it is up to the government to decide whether or not to disclose the contents to the citizens.”


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