UN chief commends Madagascar’s electoral process

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has welcomed the appointment of Madagascar’s Senate leader Rivo Rakotovao as the acting president of the island nation following the resignation of Hery Rajaonarimampianina on Friday.

Rakotovao will serve as head of state in the interim until the election of the new president.

“The Secretary-General reiterates the commitment of the United Nations to continue to support the electoral process, leading to a peaceful, credible and inclusive poll”, Guterres’ spokesperson said on Saturday.

Guterres also commended the close coordination between the UN, through his Special Adviser Abdoulaye Bathily, and international partners including the African Union and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in supporting the Malagasy-led dialogue and reconciliation. Madagascar had been facing a political crisis for several months.

The island nation’s Constitution requires the incumbent leader to quit office 60 days before the vote if seeking re-election.

“Since I am candidate, I have to comply with the law,” Rajaonarimampianina said when addressing the nation on Friday evening.

The country’s High Constitutional Court approved his resignation.

The presidential election is scheduled to be held on 7 November, with a run-off slated for 19December.

Madagascans will head to the polls for the first round of presidential election on November 7, while the second round of the election is slated for December, 19.