Brussels 06.12.2020 The presentation of letters of credentials to the President of the European Council Charles Michel took place on December 4.
The President of the European Council Charles Michel received the letters of credentials of the following Ambassadors:
H.E Mr Mamadou Mandjou BERTHE, Ambassador, Head of Mission of Mali
H.E. Mr Jean Omer BERIZIKY, Ambassador, Head of Mission of the Republic of Madagascar
H.E. Mr Sutiawan GUNESSEE, Ambassador, Head of Mission of the Republic of Mauritius
H.E. Mr Abdelrahim Ahmed Khalil ELTAYEB, Ambassador, Head of Mission of the Republic of the Sudan
The European Commission is mobilising a humanitarian aid package of €22.8 million to help address emergency food needs and support vulnerable people in Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The funding comes as large parts of southern Africa are currently in the grip of their harshest drought in decades.
“Many poor households in drought-affected areas in southern African countries are struggling to have enough food due to crop failure, reduced access to water and, in some places, unaffordable food prices in markets. EU humanitarian aid will help deliver food to those most in need and tackle the hunger crisis in fragile rural communities,” said Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management.
In Zimbabwe, €16.8 million from this aid package will boost food and nutrition assistance, as well as improving access to basic health care, clean water and providing protection to vulnerable people. The remaining amount will be channelled to providing food assistance and nutrition support in Eswatini, Madagascar, Lesotho and Zambia.
The Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region, as a whole, is prone to natural disasters and oscillates between droughts and floods that are destroying harvests and further weakening fragile communities. Since January 2019, the EU has allocated a total of €67.95 million for humanitarian assistance across the region. The bulk of this funding went for emergency relief assistance in the wake of natural disasters (cyclones Idai and Kenneth), food assistance, and helping at-risk communities equip themselves better to face climate-related disasters.
After the second round both candidates in Madagascar presidential election have claimed victory in the intense competition for power. The Malagasy people went to the polls on December 19 to elect the President. Both Ravalomanana and his rival Rajoelina ensured their supporters that they are the legitimate winners of the intense race.
“Thanks to the commitment of all the institutions concerned, the vote was conducted in a calm and orderly manner.It is now the responsibility of all parties, and in particular of the two candidates, to continue this electoral process until the inauguration of the new President in a climate of calm and transparency”, European External Action (EEAS) Service spokesperson informed in a statement.
“In particular, each claim must be dealt with by the means provided for by law. In close coordination with its partners, and in particular in support of the initiatives of the High Representative of the African Union, the EU continues to monitor the situation closely and remains committed to supporting the democratic process” the statement concluded.
The preliminary statement of the EU Electoral Mission, led by Cristian Preda, Member of the European Parliament, has been published.
The mission will remain in Madagascar until the end of the electoral process and will produce a final report proposing recommendations for the improvement of future electoral processes, in accordance with Madagascar‘s international commitments.
“…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.
Polling stations have been opened at 6 AM local time (03:00 GMT) and closed at 5PM (14:00 GMT). Despite long queues, no anomalies were detected in the polls, according to the head of the European Union’s observer mission, Cristian Dan Preda.
According to the country’s electoral commission, the CENI, turnout was around 40 percent.
Incumbent President Hery Rajaonarimampianina has many competitors, including four former presidents seeking for a mandate, however his two main challengers are both former heads of state: Marc Ravalomanana and Andry Rajoelina.
All three major competitors have crisscrossed the island in a chase for votes and each has pledged to accelerate recovery for an economy the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts will grow at more than five percent this year, its highest rate in a decade.
Civil society groups accuse three wealthy front runners of profiting from politics, all candidates vehemently deny.
EU delegation led by Member of European Parliament Cristian Dan Preda (Romania, EPP) will address press on Friday, 9 November to conclude the work of the EU monitoring mission.
The European Union is one of the largest donors of the official development assistance in Madagascar, with the European Development Fund (EDF) being the main financial instrument. For the period 2014-2020, an indicative amount of € 518 million has been set. Its main objective is to fight against poverty, through the strengthening of good governance and the promotion of a sustainable economy.