There was no suspense. Six days after the announcement of the provisional results by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), the High Constitutional Court of Madagascar confirmed, Friday, December 1, the re-election of outgoing President Andry Rajoelina with nearly 59% of the votes and a rate of participation of 46%, down slightly compared to 2018. Like Saturday, the other candidates, with the exception of Sendrison Daniela Raderanirina, did not travel to attend the ceremony, leaving Andry Rajoelina, alone facing a victory that they consider to be an “electoral hold-up”.

The court whose legitimacy is contested by the opposition had previously rejected all requests filed to request the cancellation of the vote due to multiple irregularities in the conduct of the vote and anomalies noted in the minutes sent to the CENI.

The collective of candidates – which returned to 11 with the return of Siteny Randrianasoloniaiko, the only one among them not to have boycotted the election – had repeated the day before that they did not recognize the result of the election. “We consider that no election took place in Madagascar on November 16,” declared their spokesperson and president of the Malagasy Miara Miainga (MMM) party Hajo Andrianainarivelo, continuing to demand the organization of a new election under credible and transparent conditions. To emerge from the crisis, the collective is proposing a road map which provides for the establishment of an interim structure led by the presidency of the National Assembly. She would be responsible for organizing dialogue between all the country’s key forces and “cleaning up” the electoral process with a view to a new presidential election in June 2024.

“Restore a framework of trust”

However, it is highly unlikely that Andry Rajoelina, after remaining deaf to all requests for dialogue in recent months, will be open to it once re-elected. On the contrary, he could be all the more inclined to forcefully claim his victory, since the international community, in a press release that the opposition will not fail to consider complacent, has chosen to “take note” of his re-election. In a joint text signed by the European Union (EU), France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, Switzerland, South Korea and the International Organization of the Francophonie, the diplomats “take note of the publication by the High Constitutional Court of the final results of the November 16 election proclaiming Mr. Andry Rajoelina as the winner” and “reaffirm their commitment to working with the elected president (…) on the path to a sustainable and inclusive development”. They call on Mr Rajoelina to “restore a framework of trust conducive to dialogue”.

During a meeting with the diplomatic corps, organized on Tuesday, at the EU headquarters in Antananarivo, the opposition collective had hoped that the international community would “unambiguously declare the non-compliance of the election with international standards and its lack of credibility”. A decision deemed essential, according to him, “to interrupt Madagascar’s evolution towards an increasingly autocratic and mafia-like regime”.

On Friday, in the center of the capital, police and gendarmerie forces were still deployed to prevent any demonstrations. Earlier this week, two colonels accused of trying to contest the holding of the presidential election by inciting mutiny were arrested. The leadership of the army general staff warned that it would no longer tolerate “any act of destabilization”.