Madagascar elections marked by disparities

“…The campaign was marked by the non inclusion of the capping of campaign funds in the new laws that led to disparities in means between candidates, this one and the day of the poll, proceeded in calm”, – preliminary statement by the EU Election Observation Mission assessing the Madagascar presidential elections. “The National Independent Electoral Commission has demonstrated commitment and professionalism. The identification of electors on the revised lists of electors in the voter card distribution exercise has created observable dysfunctions until polling day

This preliminary statement by the EU Election Observation Mission in Madagascar is made public before the end of the electoral process. The observers underline that the critical steps remain, including announcement of results and electoral litigation.

The observers expressed opinion that this presidential election “should consolidate the democratic gains”, reminding that  in April 2018, a pre-electoral crisis leading to mediation by the international community and a position of the High Constitutional Court (HCC) led to the formation of a government of national unity and the closure of the calendar.

Among a number of observations the report points out that despite the recommendations of the 2013 EU EOM, “the role of women in politics remains limited and the existing law does not sufficiently guarantee parity. Although five women are among the 36 candidates, they remain underrepresented in politics, political parties and electoral administration especially in rural areas.”

The other crucial criticism was aimed at use of privately owned media, covering the campaign: EU EOM media monitoring revealed that the public media respected the provisions of the CENI, while “the private media showed partiality towards the candidates, and that the paid spaces took precedence over their editorial treatment.

The EU EOM is only able to comment on the phases of the electoral process that took place until the date of publication of this declaration. Later, the mission will issue a final report including a complete analysis of the process as well as recommendations to improve it. The mission reserves the right to publish supplementary reports on specific aspects of the electoral process if it considers them useful.

 

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