Madagascar’s election race officially opened on Monday with all three recent presidents launching their campaigns ahead of the November 7 vote, which follows months of political tensions.
The Indian Ocean island suffers dire poverty and relies on foreign aid. It was rocked between April and June by protests in the main square of the capital Antananarivo over proposed electoral reforms.
The growing demonstrations forced President Hery Rajaonarimampianina to accept the formation of a “consensus” government tasked with organising the November election.
Among 36 candidates, the leading candidates are Rajaonarimampianina, who came to power in 2014, Marc Ravolamanana, the elected leader from 2002 to 2009, and Andry Rajoelina, who led the 2009 coup and held office until 2014.