The Africa Report - - BRIEFING -

The fi­nal event on the African pres­i­den­tial elec­tion agenda prom­ises to be a chal­leng­ing one, with a record 36 can­di­dates, in­clud­ing cur­rent pres­i­dent Hery Ra­jaonari­mampianina (pic­tured), in the race for the top spot. Three for­mer pres­i­dents will also be run­ning, in­clud­ing Di­dier Rat­sir­aka, an 82-year old naval of­fi­cer who ruled Madagascar in 1975-1993 and 19972002, and Marc Ravola­manana, who was over­thrown in a 2009 coup. In early Septem­ber, Rat­sir­aka ques­tioned the le­gal­ity of the elec­toral process and urged the au­thor­i­ties to post­pone this year’s pres­i­den­tial vote. The poll is also set to be­come some­thing of a fam­ily af­fair as rel­a­tives go head-to-head: Rat­sir­aka against his nephew, for­mer tourism min­is­ter Roland Rat­sir­aka; and the two com­pet­ing grand­chil­dren of for­mer pre s i dent Phi l i ber t Ts i r a nana, Philippe Tsir­anana and Eliana Bezaza.

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