The Speaker of Madagascar’s House of Representatives called, on Thursday evening, for the suspension of the presidential elections scheduled for next week, after weeks of regular opposition rallies in the country.
Christine Razanamahasoa, who leads a mediation group to find a way out of the political crisis that has been going on for weeks, announced in a press conference held on Thursday evening, in the city of Antananarivo, that the current situation in the country does not allow for free and credible elections to be held on November 16.
Razanamahaswa also added that the mediation group “strongly calls on the authorities to suspend the presidential elections scheduled for November 16.”
She continued in her press interview that the goal of postponing the presidential elections in Madagascar is to ensure “peace” and “harmony,” as political tensions are escalating in the period leading up to the vote, which has already been postponed for a week.
On the other hand, the spokeswoman for Madagascar’s outgoing President Andry Rajoelina, Lalatiana Rakotondrazafi, told Agence France-Presse that postponing the presidential elections is only a “far-fetched idea.”
She also stressed that “there is no reason why elections should not be held on November 16, and that the country’s laws do not provide for a ‘suspension’ of voting and any such decision requires government approval.”
A fierce battle is taking place in Madagascar between opposition leaders and outgoing President Andry Rajoelina, who is running for re-election again.
Eleven of the 13 opposition candidates have been leading almost daily unauthorized marches in Antananarivo for more than a month to protest what they described as an “institutional coup” that favors the current president.