It should be a bombastic investigation

Shocked …. the Malagasy were left on 25 January following the inaugurals.

The new president Hery Rajaonarimapianina was welcomed by a scandal. One that claimed the life of an innocent two years old and injured 37 other from a grenade explosion at a bus stop. It was reportedly initiated by a white man in a 4×4 or on foot. The facts are unclear. It happened 200 yards from the swearing in ceremony. Immediately following the blast it was still too early and too sensitive to jump into conclusion. However, with a few days to gain some perspective it is time to question, set the facts straight and investigate.

The innocent victims were rushed to the emergency.
Flowers were left in remembrance. Buzzes were launched in social media such as facebook and twitter. Eager to find out more, we have been closely monitoring the media. Surprisingly the news did not make the headlines the next day. Information are trickling down but nothing sufficiently clear to draw any conclusion. Needless to say such crime cannot be left unpunished. As it stand a serious investigation should be carried out. In fact it is an opportunity for the new government to demonstrate its commitment to end impunity. The media is already using powerful terms such as "Terrorism." Isn’t that too extreme without clear investigation? Terrorism is defined as "the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes." Thus a political element must be proven. If it is politically related, one can only wonder what the verdict would be.

The press reported a 4×4 driven by military personnel visiting Antanimora, the capital’s prison, to free theirs friends. When asked whether they had a decision issued by the tribunal that would allow their action, they were unable to produce one. The situation was so confusing that following an emergency meeting chaired by the leaders in the military a number of military personnel and civilians were thrown back into prison. They were freed again later during the week. Apparently they negotiated between themselves so as to avoid any escalation of violence. Between the uncertainty of the investigation, the shock of the loss of a two year old’s life, the too many victims fighting for survival, the tragedy and the story continues to unfold with pieces of information in the media.

Whether politically motivated or other these victims deserve more than just flowers. The population need to be reassured that their newly elected President is truly committed to ending impunity for such crimes. Ceasing political episode which was led by savages abusing power and authority. Time ! It is time for real change. Where art thou Mr President ? Rendering justice to innocents is your first test.

Michaella

Merry Crisemafy !

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Photo source: AFP

I am the winner 

Madagascar’s historically awaited 20th of december election day took place in a calm atmosphere. It was the day of the run off between the two candidates, Hery Rajaonarimampianina and Jean Louis Robinson. They are backed by the two titans of Malagasy politics President Andry Rajoelina and ousted former President Marc Ravalomanana.

There were reports of violence in the South, namely in Ikalamavony, Betroka and Midongy Atsimo. Dahalo, bandits, threatened a member of the CENIT and destroyed ballot boxes. Apart from a few incidents of violence the rest of the island was peaceful. The streets of the capital was deserted as citizens walked to their election point to cast their votes. In the evening, both candidates celebrated early victory when the first results were announced.

The suicidal debate

The last day of campaigning was concluded by a heated debate between the two candidates. At the time, Robinson was ahead by a few percentage not much but still ahead. Sadly, for Robinson he was attacked by a question leading him to reveal that he is a Free Mason. Thus committing political suicide. The majority of Malagasy have an unforgiving policy toward Freemasonry. The end of the debate left many focused on that one and only slip up, especially since Robinson benefited from a strong christian support. Many share the view that it was a setup. A fact we cannot confirm but only suspect.

The day following the elections were still peaceful, though presence of police and gendarme noticeably increased. International observers report a transparent elections yet rumors of pre-ticked ballots for the candidate Hery Rajaonarimanpianina worry many voters.

 In the name of transparency

 At present the real results of the presidential run-off remain unknown. Those of the legislatives are slowly revealed. The atmosphere remain calm but somewhat tense. Four days following the elections, Robinson, the candidate backed up by ousted former President Ravalomanana complained of election fraud. According to him and his political party they have won approximately 60%. A result he claims he can prove. He warned against illegal acts perpetrated by incumbent President Andry Rajoelina to influence the polls. He announced that they are manipulating the choice of the Malagasy people.

 The Independent National Electoral Commission of the Transition, CENIT, which is an independent electoral body funded by the United Nations supervised the 20 115 polling stations in the country. The Southern African Development Community, SADC deployed 256 observers dispatched in 22 regions of Madagascar. The EU Election Observation Mission, UE-EOM deployed 42 long-term observers and sent teams composed of their observers and national observers covering several regions including remote areas of the country.

 CENIT is in it

Robinson denounces that the CENIT is involved in the fraud and that he has proof of his victory. He threatens criminal prosecution of those who perpetrated the fraud. He requests the resignation of Beatrice Attalah head of the CENIT. In the alternative that she be assisted by a “co-head”. As for the rest of Robinson’s political party, they refuse to be inactive. Their headquarter continued to receive minutes of the results. On the 24th they reported 57,37 % to Robinson and 42,65% to Rajaonarimampianina. That been said the official results will be that communicated and counted by the CENIT to be validated by Madagascar’s Electoral Court, CES.

 The battle of the numbers continues. Once again the population feels manipulated by their own leaders. The elections were meant to be an exit, an end of political crisis not the spark of another one. Where are we heading if our next President comes to power through a malicious process?

In the hope that the choice of the people will be respected, that there were no such massive electoral fraud. The people voted, let their voices be seen through the true results. In spite of these rumours and worries; knowing the Malagasy population, christmas is a day of celebration and fihavanana.

 Merry Christmas and not Crisemafy Malagasy brothers and sisters ! 

 Michaella

One nation, one people, one vote, one day … Who?

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Who?

A day to make history
Rare are countries that decide to hold the elections of deputies and the president on the same day. Especially elections which will surely shape the future of Madagascar lost in a state of despair. The 20 th of december is that chosen day. A momentous day awaits the country which has been experiencing endless crisis on all fronts; political, social and economic. It will be a day when we are given an opportunity for change.

A broken Madagascar
It has long been a victim of a plague of self interested and power hungry leaders. Malagasy disappointed by unfulfilled promises. Moral values once cherished and respected are now out the window. Values held by the citizens and the authorities. All you need is to walk the streets of the capital filled with rubbish. The authorities did not clean up, but neither did we.

A new beginning
Years went on, the youth took the street promising better lives. Yet the results were an erosion of democracy while corruption flourished. Madagascar is in desperate need of healing. A beginning of an end to poverty. The Millennium Development Goals we are to work towards should neither halt nor slow down. We have until 2015, a fast approaching deadline. If the elected are truly determined to set aside their greed Madagascar has a chance to renewal.

With great power comes great responsibilities
The heightened hype, excitement and desire to assume the everest of responsibilities that awaits these candidates is puzzling. The road ahead is undoubtedly treacherous as every aspect of a Malagasy citizen’s life is in need of a reform. In the hope that the repetitive destructive scenario of leaders motivated by personal gain through abuse of power will lessen or even end.

Vote wisely
Campaigns that inundate the capital praise for the survival of the most popular not the most competent. In the elections of deputies we should aim to be represented by those willing to work toward progress. As for the presidential, it is certainly our strongest tool to influence the development of Madagascar.
Let us not fall in the same trap as before. Just because one is young and dynamic does not mean one is the leader Madagascar needs. Popularity does not necessarily rhyme with ability. Knowledge and skills are qualities essential for leadership not artistic charisma only.

As citizens voting is an essential opportunity to contribute to the development of Madagascar. Before the 20th we must make every effort to know what these candidates really stand for. When you cast your vote don’t chose competence and integrity over popularity.

Vote wisely
Michaella