Madagascar. In the December 2013 presidential election, former Finance Minister Hery Rajaonarimampianina received 53.5% of the vote, thus appearing to have defeated former Health Minister Jean Louis Robertson. However, both candidates accused each other of electoral fraud and the election result was finally settled by the country’s electoral court, which in January 2014 announced that they approved the preliminary result. Robertson then chose to accept the loss.
According to Countryaah.com, Madagascar population in 2020 is estimated at 27,691,029. Rajaonarimampianina then replaced Andry Rajoelina as president. The latter seized power in a coup in 2009 and, when he finally decided not to run for office, gave his support in the electoral movement to the Rajaonarimampianina. As Rajoelina, who has never been recognized as head of state by the outside world, resigned in favor of a democratically elected president, Madagascar was again welcomed as an active member of the African Union (AU). The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also resumed their budget support to the government.
In January, the results of the parliamentary elections held the previous month were also announced. Rajoelina’s newly formed MAPAR (With President Andry Rajoelina) became the largest party but did not get its own majority. Second largest was former President Marc Ravalomanana’s MR (Ravalomana Movement).
In April, then-70-year-old Roger Kolo was appointed new prime minister and the same month the government was presented with 31 ministers, many of whom were almost considered technocrats. Kolo himself is a doctor who, before returning to Madagascar in 2013, was active abroad for several decades.
In October, former president Marc Ravalomanana returned to the country for the first time since he was toppled in Andry Rajoelina’s coup in 2009. Previous attempts to return have been stopped by the authorities and his wife Lalao Ravalomanana was banned from running for the 2013 presidential election. Shortly after his arrival, Ravalomanana was arrested and placed under house arrest. His wife urged the followers of the president to “get up” to get “Dada”, as Ravalomanana is called, free. A demonstration with about 300 participants in the capital Antananarivo was met by tear gas from the police. In December, President Rajaonarimampianina and four former presidents met to discuss a national reconciliation process. Ravalomanana’s house arrest is moved to his own home.
In early November, the WHO (World Health Organization) was informed by Madagascar’s health ministry that the country was suffering from a plague epidemic. The first case was discovered in August, and in November, about 120 people were infected, 40 of whom had died. Because the fleas that spread the infection to a large extent are resistant to the pesticides used, there was great concern that the epidemic would grow in scale and gain root in the densely populated metropolitan region.
Parliament voted unanimously in December to propose the abolition of the death penalty, which is replaced by the lifetime sentence of work as the law’s most severe penalty. No executions have been carried out since independence in 1958.