Madagascar’s presidential elections set for November

Voters in Madagascar will head to the polls in November to cast their ballots in presidential elections, the government announced Tuesday.

“The head of government summons voters to the polls on Nov. 9 for the first round of presidential elections and on Dec. 20 for the second round, if there is one,” said a statement issued by the Prime Minister‘s Office.

Incumbent President Andry Rajoelina is expected to seek reelection amid controversy over his dual French-Malagasy nationality.

His arch rival, former President Marc Ravalomanana, has already announced his candicacy.

Rajoelina, 49, won the last vote in December 2018 after beating Ravalomanana in the second round of elections which were said to have been marred by irregularities. 

He first assumed power in 2009 after the military backed his ousting of Ravalomanana.

But Rajoelina faces legal hurdles this time following reports that he acquired French citizenship under naturalization in 2014.

Under Madagascar law, a person with foreign citizenship becomes ineligible to contest for public office in any election because he or she automatically loses Malagasy nationality.

The country’s Independent National Electoral Commission is currently updating the national voters’ registry, with more than 10.7 million voters expected to take part in the polls.

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