Insecurity tops concerns as Madagascans vote for new leader

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A street in Antananarivo, the capital city of Madagascar./Jerry Omondi

Restoring security in Madagascar is one of the biggest expectations the country’s voters have placed on their next leader.

Burglary, pick-pocketing and violent robberies are rampant in the country, especially in the capital, Antananarivo.

Residents of the city hope the country’s new leader can address the issue.

“I want the next president to improve our lives, to improve social amenities. That is what would impact my daily life. For example, I am a taxi driver. I want him to build roads and improve security because currently, there is no security for poor people. After dark, we can’t keep on working. We have to go home because it is not safe out here,” Randriafidiniaina, an Antananarivo resident said.

Madagascar is one of the poorest nations in the world. According to the World Bank, more than 70 percent of Malagasy people live below the poverty line, with very limited opportunities to change their situation.

Most families in the country cannot afford decent housing or a comfortable lifestyle.

Hundreds of families live in shacks in the streets of Antananarivo. Mothers are forced to sleep on the pavement with little children.

Most of the candidates vying for the presidency highlighted addressing insecurity alongside economic development as key agendas for them should they win.

Provisional results from the election are expected to be announced within 12 days, but official results can only be announced by the High Constitutional Court (HCC).

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