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Vol 59 No 22

Published 9th November 2018


Madagascar

Big men bid high for the top job

Three ex-presidents are sparing no expense wooing some of the poorest voters in Africa. There’s a wide field, but not much choice

The voters of Madagascar faced a list of 36 candidates when they went to the polls for the presidential elections on 7 November. They include an evangelical pastor, a respected singer-songwriter, a bat guano entrepreneur and an assortment of former prime ministers and ministers. Only three stand a serious chance of election, all of whom have previously held the country's highest office: Hery Rajaonarimampianina, the incumbent; Marc Ravalomanana, president from 2002 until a coup in 2009; and Andry Rajoelina, who led that coup and remained president until elections in 2013. The other 33 candidates are remarkable by their absence, or rather, their lack of funds. Some regions have seen hardly any campaigning at all.

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