Madagascar opposition denounces ‘institutional coup’ ahead of elec...

Opposition parties in Madagascar have decried what they describe as an “institutional coup” after the appointment of the prime minister, an ally of President Andry Rajoelina, to lead a transitional administration in the lead-up to a presidential election.

In a letter addressed to electoral authorities and received on Tuesday, 10 out of 13 presidential candidates alleged that the court rulings appointing Christian Ntsay to lead the Indian Ocean island were influenced by President Rajoelina and his associates to benefit the president in the upcoming November election.

“The powers (that be)… carried out a real institutional coup with the aim of putting the Prime Minister in charge of the state during the presidential electoral period in order to manipulate the results for the benefit of their candidate,” the signatories, including two former presidents, wrote.

On November 9, voters in Madagascar, a country abundant in natural resources yet one of the world’s poorest, will participate in presidential elections.

In accordance with the constitution, President Rajoelina, aged 49, stepped down on Saturday ahead of his candidacy in the upcoming presidential election.

The President of the Senate was initially expected to assume the role but declined citing “personal reasons.” As a result, the responsibility fell upon a “collegial government” led by Ntsay.

The country’s highest court approved this transition, which also included rejecting appeals seeking to invalidate Rajoelina’s candidacy over the weekend.

“The renunciation made by the President of the Senate is not provided for anywhere in the Constitution,” the letter read.

The head of Constitutional Court dismissed accusations of bias.

“The President of the Senate renounced the office. We cannot force him to take the reins of power,” Florent Rakotoarisoa told media, adding the decision was lawful and aimed to “ensure the continuity of the State”.

Scroll to Top