Madagascar’s candidates splurge on campaigns

Civic groups Rony and TIIM have jointly deplored “the indecency of deploying massive resources by some candidates in the face of poverty”.

There is no limit to how much finance a candidate can spend on election campaigns in Madagascar.

“What is scandalous is that we do not know where the money comes from,” said Transparency International’s country boss Ketakandriana Rafitoson, in a country plagued with corruption.

Only six “small” candidates out of the 36 have responded to a civil society survey on the source of their funding. 

Rajoelina has promised to open up about his political finances only after campaigning is over. “I will obviously submit the documents on my campaign funding,” he said.

Ravalomanana says he didn’t pay for helicopters, which belong to a “friend” in South Africa.

“I ran a campaign that is in standing with my image and is reasonable vis-a-vis the population,” said Rajaonarimampianina.

In a poor neighbourhood of the capital, and with indignation, voter Jimmy Ramaherison complained saying “it’s shocking that they spend so much, they do not even look at us”.

“If we are the poorest country in the world, it’s because of these people,” said a frustrated Ny Rado Rafalimanana, a fringe candidate.

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