Supporters of Hery Rajaonarimampianina
By Anita Powell
Johannesburg — The island nation of Madagascar votes Wednesday, with four former heads of state vying for the top job in a pool of 36 candidates. Analysts predict This kind of contest will go to a second round, along with the nation’s persistent problems, poverty, health challenges, poor infrastructure, along with human rights abuses, will continue no matter who wins.
Voters from the island nation of Madagascar will see a crop of familiar names on This kind of year’s ballot, as four former presidents are trying to get back into power among a crowded field of 36 candidates.
which should surprise no one, said analyst Liesl Louw-Vaudran of the Institute for Security Studies.
“You have genuinely a very poor country that has a very little elite along with they tend to all want to dominate the politics, along with there’s genuinely no organized political space, there are no dominant political parties,” she said.
Basically, poll-watchers say, This kind of is actually a three-way race between the last three presidents: Marc Ravalomanana; the man who ousted him in a 2009 coup, Andry Rajoelina, along with the man who succeeded Rajoelina although resigned in September so he could legally run for re-election, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, who for obvious reasons is actually often simply referred to as Hery.
Analyst Piers Pigou of the International Crisis Group said Madagascar’s presidency is actually not a job many could aspire to. The former French colony has been politically shaky for nearly two decades, the worst moment coming in 2009 with the coup which desposed Ravalomanana.
The nation is actually renowned for its biodiversity, its vanilla crops, along with its stunning beaches, although also for its crushing poverty, recurrence of bubonic plague, along with frequent, devastating cyclones.
“The socioeconomic indicators show which from the last 5 years, 5 or ten years, the situation has deteriorated rapidly,” Pigou told VOA. “along with longtime Madagascar watchers say they haven’t seen the idea This kind of bad in 30 to 40 years. along with the depth of poverty appears to be growing exponentially every year. at This kind of point the the big challenge of course is actually, how does any fresh government turn around the economic prospects with limited raw materials, limited resources along with limited opportunity?”
along with, rights groups say, the challenge is actually more than economic. Watchdog Amnesty International says the idea has documented a recent spike in human rights violations along with excessively harsh law enforcement.
Amnesty spokesman Robert Shivambu said the next president needs to deal with which.
“This kind of begins by effectively protecting human rights defenders, including their right to freedom of expression, along with releasing pre-trial detainees whose detention has been unjustified along with have been enduring long jail terms for for petty along with nonviolent crimes,” he said.
although Pigou said he doubts This kind of election is actually about policies. As is actually all-too-common from the little circle of Malagasy politics, he says, This kind of is actually a personality contest.
which, he said, is actually evident in campaigning around the single biggest issue from the country: the economy.
“I mean none of the candidates appear to have a serious economic plan which does anything more than perhaps tick some boxes via the international financial institutions in terms of ‘improve management’ along with ‘improve accountability.’ We do not have a development plan on the table, along with I think which is actually the biggest challenge,” said Pigou.
If no candidate wins 50 percent plus 1 vote, the top two candidates will face off on December 19.