Madagascar president steps down ahead of November elections

Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina has officially stepped down from his position after being formally approved as a candidate in the nation’s presidential elections set for November 9, country’s constitutional court announced on Saturday.

According to Madagascar’s constitution, a sitting head of state who intends to run in a presidential election must first tender their resignation.

Rajoelina submitted his resignation letter to the court on Saturday, as confirmed by the High Constitutional Court, which was followed by the formal approval of his candidacy in the upcoming elections.

The president of the senate is typically tasked with assuming presidential powers in the event of the head of state’s resignation. However, the court stated that Herimanana Razafimahefa, the head of the senate, had declined to assume this role.

“For personal reasons, he will not be able to fully exercise the responsibilities that the office of Head of State requires,” the court said referring to Razafimahefa.

Instead, the court has announced that presidential authority will be collectively exercised by the government, with the prime minister serving as its leader.

On Saturday, Madagascar’s High Court released the official roster of presidential candidates, with 13 of the 28 contenders being selected. Notably, this list includes Rajoelina, as well as two former presidents, Marc Ravalomanana and Hery Rajaonarimampianina.

Madagascar aspires to achieve its third peaceful election since the turmoil of 2009 when Rajoelina unseated President Marc Ravalomanana in a coup, leading to an exodus of foreign investors from the Indian Ocean island.

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