News / Africa

Madagascar Preparing for Presidential Run-Off Election

A man walks past campaign posters outside a polling center in the capital Antananarivo, Oct. 25, 2013.
A man walks past campaign posters outside a polling center in the capital Antananarivo, Oct. 25, 2013.
Reuters
Madagascar holds a second round of voting on Friday to complete its first presidential election since a 2009 coup that scared off foreign donors and investors.
 
The two contestants in the run-off vote are not political heavyweights, but are allies of the island's two main rivals: the coup leader-turned-president, Andry Rajoelina, and the man he ousted with the army's help, Marc Ravalomanana.
 
Ravalomanana and Rajoelina had agreed not to run in the election in a regionally-brokered deal to defuse tensions. A last minute attempt by Rajoelina to run when Ravalomanana's wife stepped into the race led to a court order blocking both.
 
Below are snapshots of the two candidates:

Madagascar's Presidential candidate Robinson Jean-Louis salutes his supporters during prayers and a post-elections rally in the capital Antananarivo, Oct. 26, 2013.
Madagascar's Presidential candidate Robinson Jean-Louis salutes his supporters during prayers and a post-elections rally in the capital Antananarivo, Oct. 26, 2013.

Jean Louis Robinson
 
The former health minister is backed by Ravalomanana, who has been exiled in South Africa since dissident troops swung behind anti-government protests that led to his 2009 overthrow.
 
The former leader turned to Robinson only after his wife Lalao was barred from running for president.
 
Robinson, 61, emerged the frontrunner in October's first round with 21 percent of the vote and the clear winner in the capital, Antananarivo, where there is widespread frustration at the economic malaise gripping the nickel-producing island.
 
Robinson, a physician with a black belt in judo, says the political fight won't be over until Ravalomanana returns to the island that lies off southern Africa. He has declared Lalao Ravalomanana will be his prime minister if he wins the vote.
 
She has been glued to his side during campaigning.
 
An adviser to Ravalomanana's first prime minister in 2002, Robinson was health minister in 2004-08 and minister of sports and culture in 2008-09.
 
He promises an improved version of Ravalomanana's Madagascar Action Plan to promote development in one of Africa's poorest countries by increasing investment, collecting more taxes and launching an agricultural revolution. That plan briefly boosted economic growth to about 7 percent a year before the coup.
 
Supporters attend the final campaign rally of Madagascar's presidential candidate Hery Rajaonarimampianina Rakotoarimanana in the capital Antananarivo, Oct. 23, 2013.
Supporters attend the final campaign rally of Madagascar's presidential candidate Hery Rajaonarimampianina Rakotoarimanana in the capital Antananarivo, Oct. 23, 2013.
Hery Rajaonarimampianina
 
A finance minister under Rajoelina, 55-year-old Rajaonarimampianina has pitched himself as the best-placed person to marshal a recovery of Madagascar's crippled economy.
 
Donors turned off budgetary aid taps and foreign investors fled after Rajoelina's coup, depriving the government of cash and stunting growth. Even so, policymakers have been praised for keeping spending in check, prices stable and inflation at bay.
 
Educated in Canada, Rajaonarimampianina's campaign has focused on restoring security, building new roads and improving access to education.
 
He served as finance minister from 2009 to 2013, stepping down to run for president. He is backed by Rajoelina, so likely has the support of the military commanders who backed the former disk jockey's power grab five years ago.
 
He won 16 percent of the vote in the first round and will need to win some of the major coastal cities to offset Robinson's advantage in the capital, analysts say.

You May Like

Somalia: No Popular Elections in 2016

In interview Wednesday with VOA, President Mohamud says 'one person, one vote' elections will not be possible due to continuing insecurity More

Scientists Predict Climate Change Will Increase Child Malnutrition

Public health expert in Germany says that by 2050, 25 million more children's lives will be put at risk because of lack of nutrients tied to climate change More

Erdogan in China Amid Tensions on Uighurs, Missile System

Turkey's president has criticized China's heavy-handed policies toward Uighurs in violence-plagued Xinjiang region, where China says it is fighting foreign-backed separatists More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponentsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 28, 2015 9:53 PM
A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video Special Olympics Athletes Meet International Friends

The Special Olympics are underway in Los Angeles, California, with athletes from 165 countries participating in an event that gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in an international competition. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that for athletes and their families, it's also an opportunity to make new friends in an international setting.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs