ANTANANARIVO, MADAGASCAR- Following a presidential election boycotted by the majority of opposition candidates, dozens of supporters of Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina waited in line to collect their party cards on Tuesday, according to AFP journalists.
In advance of last week’s contentious elections, where the President was running for reelection, Rajoelina and his party have denied claims that they promised cash in exchange for votes.
However, since the start of the week, a large number of people have gathered outside the President’s party offices in Antananarivo in search of pay.
Waste collector Emilienne Razafindramanga, 44, said to AFP,” If the President were in front of me, I would tell him that he promised to meet our needs in exchange for our support because we have always rallied behind him.”
Therefore, we are now requesting 350 000 ariary ($ 77 )”
She claimed that the money would enable her to meet her family’s basic needs.
According to the electoral commission, Rajoelina, 49, is the front-runner in the presidential race with a preliminary total of more than 60 % of the vote, which would guarantee him re-election without running-off.
However, after 10 of the 12 opposition candidates urged voters to abstain from voting in protest of an “institutional coup” in the incumbent’s favor, turnout was relatively low, at 40 %.
Rajoelina was described by 70-year-old retiree Raveloson Razafindratoandro as making promises to us prior to the election. He added that he was outside the Tanora malaGasy Vonona ( TGV ) party’s offices to obtain a membership card.
I can now receive the money he promised me because of this.
Ambohimangakely, 15 kilometers outside of the capital, TGV official Rakotondrabe Joselito denied the party’s promise to distribute money.
Joselito dismissed rumors that the card was similar to a “bank card” and that it only conferred party membership.
It still had some additional advantages.
Those with this card will receive preferential treatment when donations are distributed later, he said.
Since Rajoelina’s acquisition of French nationality in 2014, according to media reports from June, Madagascar has been in upheaval.
According to local law, the president’s Madagascan nationality and consequently his capacity to lead the nation should have been forfeited.
The opposition grouping, which included two former presidents, led nearly daily protest marches that were routinely dispersed by police for weeks prior to the vote.
Rajoelina first assumed power following a coup in 2009, skipped the subsequent elections, and then returned triumphantly in 2018.
Later this week, the election’s results should be made public.