Madagascar: Rajoelina Withdraws from Polls

President Andry Rajoelina delivering a speech in Antananarivo (file photo).

Cape Town — Madagascar’s leader, Andry Rajoelina, has confirmed that he will respect the decision of an electoral court, and will not stand for election in October’s presidential poll.

France 24 reports that Rajoelina said in a radio and TV broadcast on Friday: “I am ready for a peaceful and democratic handover of power after the elections.”

L’Express de Madagascar reports that the court’s exclusion of Rajoelina, who seized power in 2009, has left his supporters in disarray, forced to decide between other candidates within their ranks.

The paper reported a pro-Rajoelina source as saying they were left “reeling” by the court’s decision and would take a few days to decide on their position.

However, Radio France Internationale suggests that the court’s decision leaves Rajoelina in a stronger position than his main rival, President Marc Ravalomanana, whom he ousted from power.

Ravalomanana remains in exile and his wife, Lalao Ravalomanana, was also barred from running as a candidate in the forthcoming elections.

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