Antananarivo, Madagascar: On 21st December 2018, the Head of the SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) to the 2018 Presidential Election in the Republic of Madagascar, Dr. Katete Kalumba, released the Mission's Preliminary Statement, at a media event held at the Colbert Hotel in Antananarivo, Madagascar, following the second round of the Presidential Election which were held on 19th December 2018.
In the Preliminary Statement, the SEOM observed that the 2018 Presidential Election was conducted in orderly peaceful, and professional manner in line with the Constitution, electoral laws and other relevant laws of the Republic of Madagascar.
The SEOM Head of Mission commended the People of Madagascar for their exemplary conduct before and on election day, and urged them to maintain this in the post-election period.
SADC called upon all stakeholders to remain calm and patient whilst the CENI and the High Constitutional Court carry out their duties as the institutions mandated to officially announce the provisional and final results, respectively. The two candidates and their supporters were urged to accept the official results and if aggrieved, they should channel their grievances through the appropriate legal processes.
The SEOM noted that the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) and the relevant Government Departments were able to implement several positive measures to facilitate the conduct of the election notwithstanding the limited time between the first and second rounds of the election.
In the Preliminary Statement, SEOM made a number of key recommendations to further strengthen Madagascar’s political systems.
The recommendations made include, among others, the need to revise the processing of the results at CENI Headquarters, the review of the system of distributing voter identification cards, including the security features of the cards.
The SEOM to the 2018 Madagascar Presidential Elections was constituted by observers from ten (10) SADC Member States namely; Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. A total of 51 observers were deployed and they covered 10 regions of Madagascar.
Also in attendance were the SADC Special Envoy to Madagascar, His Excellency Joaquim Chissano, Former President of the Republic of Mozambique; the Special Advisor of the United Nations Secretary General to the Republic of Madagascar, His Excellency, Professor Abdoulaye Bathily and the Director of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Affairs at the SADC Secretariat, Mr Jorge Cardoso, representing the SADC Executive Secretary.
Professor Abdoulaye Bathily, commended the Head of SEOM for his professionalism and leadership during the mission observation.
The SEOM final report of the 2018 Presidential Elections in Madagascar will be completed and issued within 90 days after the close of the poll in accordance with the provisions of the revised SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections (2015).