Presidential elections in Madagascar boycotted by opposition

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Madagascar is having a presidential vote even though the opposition is not participating because of protests.

A curfew was announced in the city at night to stop any problems.

There is a lot of disagreement in politics right now, and the opposition wants Andry Rajoelina to be removed from office.

There have been six weeks of protests, where people who disagree with the government have fought with the police.

Angelo Ravelonarivo, a police chief in the capital city of Antananarivo, said the curfew was put in place because of different acts of sabotage, like setting fire to a polling station.

Opposition leaders say Mr. Rajoelina is being unfairly supported and should not be allowed to run because he became a French citizen in 2014.

However, many people are standing in line at voting places in areas that are in favor of him and his party.

There were not many people at the polling stations in areas where the opposition is strong. There were only a few security guards in Antananarivo.

This happened when 10 out of 12 people running against each other in the election said they were worried the election might not be fair. They asked people not to vote in the election.
Roland Ratsiraka, a candidate who was protesting, told the AFP news agency that the elections were a “fraud” and a “joke” for Madagascar.

Mr Rajoelina wants to be president for a third time. He said it’s against the law to stop people from voting.

He voted in Antananarivo’s north neighborhood Atmobe with his family.

A few people tried to stop others from voting freely. Rajoelina said that people can choose not to vote, but it’s important for everyone to vote.

Rija Ralijaona, a 26-year-old worker, said she thinks whoever wins should make less people without jobs and make more jobs for young people.

The country has a lot of cobalt, gold, nickel, uranium, and other minerals stored.

The next leader will need to help with lots of problems, like poverty.

Madagascar has about 30 million people, but only 11 million are allowed to vote.

Voting began at 6:00 in the morning and will end at 5:00 in the evening on Thursday.

Mr Rajoelina quit his job in September so he could try to be re-elected. He says he doesn’t agree with the complaints from other leaders and he is sure he will win again.

According to AFP, his government has said the protests are because people want to take over the power and ruin the election.

It has also said that the opposition is “making the country less stable. ”

At first, the Senate president was supposed to replace Mr. Rajoelina, but he said no. This left the decision to a group of government leaders led by the prime minister, who is considered a friend of Rajoelina.

Many people are mad that Mr. Rajoelina can run for office because he has French citizenship as well as Malagasy citizenship, even though the Constitutional Court said it’s okay.

After becoming a leader in 2009, Mr Rajoelina became the youngest leader in Africa.

He did not run in the election in 2013, but he was elected again in 2018.

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