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Madagascar Still Waiting for Presidential Election Results

It has been six days since Madagascar's long-awaited elections were finally held, the first since the last democratically elected president, Marc Ravalomanana, was ousted during a military-backed coup in 2009.

Results have been trickling in since Friday, October 25, 2013, and the wait has kept social media aflame.

The international community has deemed the elections as “free and fair”:

But some regret the haste of the international community in embracing the elections, as many citizens have been unable to vote due to their voting cards not having been delivered or their names mysteriously missing on polling lists. Ndimby [fr], a prominent Malagasy blogger since the start of the political crisis post-coups, described the actions of the CENI-T, which is organizing the elections:

S’il est vrai que la journée du 25 octobre s’est relativement bien déroulée, le processus électoral va bien au-delà de cette date, jusqu’à la proclamation des résultats et au positionnement des vaincus. Contrairement aux éjaculateurs précoces de l’observation internationale, attendons qu’une masse critique de résultats sorte, qu’une tendance véritablement nationale se dégage, que l’étendue des problèmes et incidents recensés soit définie, et que les vaincus reconnaissent leur défaite, avant de dire que le premier tour s’est bien passé.

[...]

Au stade de dépouillement et de compilation où nous sommes, il est encore trop tôt pour crier à la fraude, et encore moins pour crier victoire. L’arrivée des 90% de résultats restants peut faire changer les choses, augmenter certains scores et en baisser d’autres. Une fois encore, il faut tenter de garder la tête froide et ne pas se laisser embarquer par les appels à la protestation contre les tentatives de fraude, ou aux appels à célébration de victoire. Ceci étant dit, la lenteur de la CENI-T dans la publication des résultats (à commencer par ceux dont son siège est pourtant proche géographiquement) n’est pas fait pour éloigner la suspicion. Et il faudrait que la CENI-T rectifie le tir, avant que les gens ne commencent à se demander si les erreurs de listes et de cartes électorales étaient vraiment des erreurs, ou bien le résultat d’une stratégie en vue de préparer, si nécessaire, des prétextes pour annulations massives de vote dans un réservoir de voix qui serait a priori anti-Rajoelina. Quoiqu’il en soit, seul le temps permettra de déterminer si ces défaillances conjointes de la CENI-T, des fokontany et du personnel des bureaux de vote, ont été des cas isolés, et si leur fréquence et leur étendue pourraient avoir un impact significatif. On pourra en effet se poser des questions sur ce qui se passe en régions et en zones rurales, quand on sait que même dans la Capitale, avec les moyens de transports et de communication qui y existent, il y a tellement eu de ratés.

It is true that the elections on October 25 went relatively well, but the voting process goes well beyond this date, and includes the announcement of results and the reactions of losing candidates. In disagreement with the dysfunctional international observers, let us wait until a critical mass of results are published, until truly national patterns emerge, until the scope of issues and events are defined, until the losers acknowledge their defeat, before proclaiming that the first rounds went well.

[...]

While we are still opening ballots and compiling numbers, it is too early to suspect vote rigging, and even too early to proclaim any victory. The arrival of 90 percent of the remaining votes could well change things, increase some scores and decrease others. Once again, we should keep cool and not let ourselves get entangled in protests against fraud, or victory celebrations. This said, the slowness of the CENI-T in publishing the results (starting with results which are geographically close to its headquarters) does encourage suspicion. The CENI-T has to pick up its game, or people will start to wonder if polling list mistakes and missing voting cards were really that – mistakes – and not part of a strategy aiming to prepare, if necessary, excuses for denying voting rights to those residing in precincts that would have gone in their majority against [the country's current transition president and presidential candidate] Rajoelina. Only time will determine if the combined failures of the CENI-T, voting stations and their personnel were isolated cases, or if their scope could have a significant impact. One could really wonder what is happening in rural regions, when we know that even in the capital city, with existing communication and transportation means, so many failures happened.

The CENI-T has found itself the target of much criticism for its difficulties in publishing accurate election results quickly. Its website was hacked not long after the election, as shown in this Twitter update:

why were the results of the election by polling station removed from the official page of the electoral committee ? Sign the petition ! https://t.co/hIiYEZ2mf4

A Photoshop message humorously said that the CENI-T was busy rigging votes and that it will come back later, as seen in this tweet:

It says: “website busy rigging the vote” Hahaha

Barijaona, one of the very first bloggers in Madagascar and a self-described geek, is familiar with the analysis of large databases in finance. With the results from various polling stations slowly trickling in, he wrote a script [fr] that allows anyone interested in Malagasy electoral analytics to transfer the official results published as a PDF document into a spreadsheet, and therefore verify that the official numbers make sense. He also wrote statistical model to project the final results of the elections. The official results from all the regions are taking days to come in. Therefore, with only a fraction of the regions officially in, Barijaona ran the voting data available on October 27, and then again on October 29, and came to very similar results. He concluded that [fr] the two front runners are probably set to face each other the 2nd round of the election:

Les résultats me paraissent remarquablement stables entre ces deux traitements, et si les résultats finaux s'écartent beaucoup de ces chiffres, il y aura vraiment de quoi s'étonner… 

The results are remarkably stable between the two candidates, and if the final results differ from these numbers, it would be amazing… .

Two initiatives are crowdsourcing irregular elections events:

Meanwhile, some keep calm and carry on:

  • Pingback: Madagascar Still Waiting for Presidential Election Results | Freedom, Justice, Equality News

  • Solana Larsen

    Thanks for the update. I do agree it seems a little early to declare a fair election before the results have even been announced.

  • http://www.astrosunil.com/ KALUSAYAKKARAGE SUNIL

    WHO WILL WIN—–?Malagasy presidential election, 2013Final round (second Round)astrology Result —Braking News—
    WHO IS NEXT president Malagasy ?
    Malagasy president September 2013 -Political party —AVANA , led by Mr.Jean Louis Robinson
    Who is the next — winng— Mr.Jean Louis Robinson——- Born: 22 March 1952 (age 61)
    Popular according to the solar fire
    williaks system. on that day the sun
    rises at about 6.00 clock a.m. an depending on that with an experiments
    the political Party.who comes from
    .. Planetary Positions at
    Sun:17 11′ in Libra-Moon:24° 17′ in Virgo-Saturn:19 36 in LibraNeptune:19° 24′ in Sagittarius
    ascendent. The election date
    AVANA Party of Malagasy Power.Planet aquries . The luckey number 08
    at their Aries assessments and
    Mars more power full. The election day according to the elevation of
    Latitude and Magnitude sign the well get more vote and be ask the
    next elected (AVANA Party of Malagasy) , led byMr.Jean Louis Robinson
    – –2013-. sure and definitly (WORLD,s NO.1
    ASTROLOGER ——-. K. SUNIL OPTHELLE -Galboda– Waturugama Sri LANKA(+94 033 2278121)
    (K. Sunil Opathella—Master of Astrology) 19 -11-2013

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