Madagascar poll gets thumbs up
SADC has described the October 25 Presidential election in Madagascar as free, fair and credible. Other observer missions and the United Nations also gave the polls the thumbs up.
Namibia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah – who headed the SADC Electoral Observer Mission to Madagascar (SEOM), said in a preliminary statement: “The SEOM noted the technical preparedness of the National Independent Electoral Commission for Transition in its conduct of the electoral process.
“The SEOM has come to the conclusion that despite some pertinent concerns raised by some stakeholders, they are not of such magnitude to affect the overall electoral process. “The SEOM, therefore, concludes that the elections in Madagascar were peaceful, free, fair and transparent, reflecting the will of the people.
“In line with the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections and the Electoral Law of Madagascar, the SEOM would like to urge all presidential candidates, political leaders and all stakeholders, to respect the will of the people.
“In this regard, any grievances should be pursued in line with the relevant laws of the country.” She reiterated SADC’s continued support for Madagascar, which is trying to return to constitutional normalcy following the 2009 Andry Rajoelina-led and military-backed coup that ousted the government of President Marc Ravalomanana.
Rojoelina, Ravalomanana and his wife Lalao, and another Former President, Didier Ratsiraka, were barred from contesting the polls. Though full results were not yet in at the time of publishing, indications were there would be a run-off in December as no single candidate looked set to garner more than 50 percent of the vote to secure am outright victory as per the country’s constitution. The leading contenders were Jean Louis Robinson (backed by Ravalomanana) and Hery Rajaonarimampianina (backed by Rajoelina).
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on all contestants to accept the outcome and address grievances through established channels. “This election has been free, transparent and credible,” the head of the EU observer mission, Maria Muniz de Urquiza, added. – Southern Times Writer-Reuters-UN News Centre