The High Constitutional Court of Madagascar ratified on Friday the victory of the sitting president Andry Rajoelina in the country’s most recent election. Rajoelina’s victory means he will serve a third term as Madagascar’s president. The elections were held on November 16 after the court postponed the elections for a week after Rajoelina and one other presidential candidate were injured during protests about the election.
The Independent National Commission published the provisional poll results on Saturday, which saw 58.95 percent (2,856,090) of the votes for Rajoelina. The commission also noted that only 46 percent of the country’s eligible voters turned out to vote—the lowest in Madagascan history. The top court has now ratified these statistics and the ensuing result, as is constitutionally required. This followed ten of the twelve opposition candidates calling for a boycott of the election due to complaints about Rajoelina’s candidacy (due to his dual French citizenship). The Constitutional Court rejected this.
Rajoelina previously served as president from 2009-2014, following a political crisis and a coup supported by the military. He then won a run-off vote against Marc Ravalomanana—who he again defeated in the November 16 election—in 2019, after neither of them won the 50 percent of the vote required to win the presidency in the first round. No such vote is necessary for this election.
The weeks of protests and tension surrounding the elections have led the Joint National Operational General Staff (EMMO-NAT), to urge that “candidates who have lost in the elections accept the results and those who have won remain humble.” EMMO-NAT also warned that they won’t allow any “destabilisation” on the island. Their urging follows the court’s finding that the police’s use of tear gas and projectiles in the protests constituted a disproportionate use of force.