Correction-previously Hobimalala was cited as Raozah in this post. This has been changed as in Malagasy tradition the last name is used.
Hobimalala is very pregnant and says the baby may come “at any minute” but that did not deter her from taking her turn at the ballot queue this morning. At 23 this is the first opportunity she has had to vote, she says that she is happy about today.
It was the will of the Malagasy people to have an election and now we are making it happen
Hobimalala lives with her mother, Bakolimalala and together they run a small hair dressing salon from their house.
It is lunch time when they return home after voting and Hobimalala begins cooking greens and fried pork, typical Malagasy dishes.
Jean Louis Robinson, endorsed by the ousted president Marc Ravololmana, has a headquarters just round the corner from her house and his election posters paper the walls of their street. However when asked about her faith in Robinson, or any of the other candidates vying for the presidency, Hobimalala is dismissive.
Right now these politicians are using their money in the campaigns and they listen to the people but it’s to get the votes. I’m sure after the elections they won’t do anything
This family like so many Malagasies was impacted by the coup in 2009. Before 2009 Hobimalala’s husband worked for a big whole sale warehouse owned by the former president Marc Ravalomanana. It was burnt down by Andry Rajoelina’s supporters, along with other businesses that the president, a self made millionaire, had acquired. Now a bus driver Hobimalala’s husband has to juggle a precarious income.
The hair salon also isn’t doing as well as it was. Clients have been harder to find since 2009.
Hobimalala and Bakolimalala hope that the declaration of an elected president will mean legitimacy and stability, whoever the candidate is.
We will accept whoever will be elected because it will be an official and there will be more security because it will be legal.
Though they don’t believe that any of the candidates offer a silver bullet for their problems Hobimalala and her mother are positive about what these elections will bring.
By the time my baby is voting the country will be more secure because we’ll have a president. I hope the baby will have a brighter future and for me I hope I will get a job