In Madagascar, legislative elections that look like revenge

The Malagasy are back at the polls on Monday to elect their deputies, a poll that looks like revenge five months after the knife duel that saw Andry Rajoelina's presidential victory in front of his eternal rival Marc Ravalomanana.

Posters on all the walls, procession of sound trucks, distribution of T-shirts with the effigy of the candidates, the streets of the capital Antananarivo have found for a month a merry atmosphere of electoral fair.

Defeated in December for the supreme magistracy, Marc Ravalomanana has multiplied to support the candidates of his party Tim, determined to win this "third round".

"We were a little disappointed with the outcome of the presidential but we must get up now," he said his troops in early May launching the campaign of his party. "We are winners and we will not be defeated."

Even forced to restraint by his duties, the head of state has raised the glove of this fight by proxy by multiplying the inaugurations and visits to the four corners of the Big Island, always escorted by candidates of his coalition.

"We are working with dedication to change the lives of Malagasy and develop our country!", Tweeted this week Mr. Rajoelina after a trip to Diego Suarez (north).

As in other constituencies of the country, the race for the deputation was summarized in the 3rd district of the capital to a face-to-face between the Ravalomanana and Rajoelina camps.

"I was disappointed that the president of our party did not win the presidential election," said Tim's candidate, businessman Feno Ralambomanana, "but this defeat motivated us to win a majority to the Assembly ".

"We need a majority to ensure stability and avoid a political war for the next five years," opposes his opponent of the Rajoelina platform, the singer and outgoing Aina Rafenomanantsoa, aka Anyah.

- Risk of instability -

In 2013, Hery Rajaonarimampianiana was elected to the presidency without presenting a candidate for the legislative elections. A time supported by the party of Andry Rajoelina, his government was then held only by the grace of a heterogeneous majority of independent deputies.

When Rajoelina's party joined in 2018 with that of Mr. Ravalomanana to oppose the new electoral laws, Madagascar plunged into one of the crises of which the island has the secret.

After two months of street protests, tensions ended with the fall of the government, an anticipated presidential election and ... a humiliating defeat in the first round of Hery Rajaonarimampianina with 8% of the vote.

"The Malagasy do not need to relive this," pleads the candidate of President Rajoelina.

But this year again, the plethora of independent candidates makes it unlikely for a stable majority in this semi-presidential country. Nearly 500 of the more than 800 are running for the 151 seats in the Assembly.

"There is a risk of reliving the Rajaonarimampianina era, independent candidates can win a lot of seats (...) because many voters want to get out of the hands of both Rajoelina and Ravalomanana camps," he told AFP. analyst Tohavina Ralambomahay.

"Too much room for independents in the Assembly would create majorities with variable geometry generating corruption and political instability," he warned.

The campaign was shaken by the blame last week for more than half of the outgoing MPs.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (Bianco) has sent to the prosecutor's office a list of 79 elected officials accused of having each received the equivalent of 12,500 euros of bribes in exchange for their promise to vote the famous electoral laws of Mr. Rajaonarimampianina .

The Rajoelina and Ravalomanana camps promised their constituents to break with these practices.

Source: Seychelles News Agency