Madagascar’s Army Warns Against Destabilization Efforts as Election Tensions Persist

Madagascar’s Army Warns Against Destabilization Efforts as Election Tensions Persist

Madagascar’s military has issued a stern warning against any attempts to destabilize the country as tensions linger following the controversial presidential election. The electoral commission declared incumbent Andry Rajoelina the winner, but his victory has been disputed by opposition candidates who boycotted the vote.

In a statement late on Tuesday, Madagascar’s top prosecutor announced that two army officers had been charged with inciting rebellion before the November 16 election. The two officers, who have not been named, are currently in custody and will remain so until a hearing scheduled for January 16.

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On Wednesday, General William Michel Andriamasimanana, addressing reporters in the capital Antananarivo, did not directly mention the arrests but reiterated the army’s commitment to upholding the election results. He emphasized that any form of destabilization, whether from within or outside the country, would not be tolerated.

Rajoelina’s path to power has been marked by controversy. He first took power in 2009 through a coup, ousting then-president Marc Ravalomanana. After serving as leader of a transitional authority for nearly five years, he won the 2018 election. In 2021, authorities arrested dozens of individuals accused of plotting to assassinate Rajoelina and overthrow the government.

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The recent election was marred by boycotts and allegations of irregularities. Ten out of 12 opposition candidates refused to participate in the vote, citing concerns over Rajoelina’s eligibility to run and demanding changes to the electoral commission. Rajoelina, who has defended the fairness of the election, maintains that the constitution does not require the president to hold exclusively Malagasy nationality.

As the constitutional court prepares to certify the election results on Friday, the country remains on edge. The army’s warning against destabilization attempts underscores the underlying tensions and uncertainties surrounding Madagascar’s political future.

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