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Carter Center Congratulates Madagascar on a Calm and Transparent Polling Process; Encourages Renewed Commitment to National Reconciliation

Contact: In Antananarivo, Stéphane Mondon, +261 347 212 613; In Atlanta, Deborah Hakes, +1 404 420 5124

Carter Center Election Observation Mission
Legislative and Second Round of Presidential Elections

Read the full preliminary statement (PDF) >

On Dec. 20, Madagascar held legislative elections and the second round of presidential elections. Following a protracted political crisis, these elections offer an opportunity that we are hopeful will reinstate a democratically-elected government, enable Madagascar to rejoin the community of nations, and provide a foundation through which to address the prolonged humanitarian crisis that has continued to escalate within recent years. The culmination of the roadmap in Friday's elections offer an opportunity for the country to move forward and begin to address the suffering of the Malagasy people, 90 percent of whom survive on less than USD $2 a day.

The Carter Center congratulates the Malagasy people for a peaceful vote, an important achievement on the road to ending the crisis and working toward the important goal of national reconciliation.

These elections are the first in Madagascar's history to be conducted by an independent electoral authority. Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) and Carter Center observers reported that voting and counting processes were peaceful, orderly, and in general accordance with Madagascar's legal framework and obligations for democratic elections. Although voter turnout was moderate at only about 50 percent in polling stations observed, the Center commends the CENI-T for their commitment to ensuring that all eligible voters had an opportunity to cast their ballots freely. Carter Center and EISA observers noted a few shortcomings in the process, including inconsistent use of the separate voters list for the presidential and legislative materials, delays in delivery of materials in some areas, and inconsistent inking procedures. However, these shortcomings were not systematic and will not impact the outcome of the elections.  Carter Center observers visited a total of 85 polling stations, and reported that the polling process was good or excellent in 82 percent of stations observed.

As the tabulation process continues, The Carter Center offers the following recommendations to Malagasy and international stakeholders:

  • All political actors should insist on maintaining a peaceful environment while respecting the constitution and the laws of Madagascar. We urge all political parties and leaders to maintain the current environment of calm as the tabulation process continues, materials are returned, and the results are processed.
  • Candidates, leaders, and international actors should work together to advance genuine messages of national reconciliation and respect for the democratic process. Madagascar must leave behind its history of winner-take-all politics, isolation of losers, and extra-constitutional actions that undermine democratic processes.
  • The military should continue to play a neutral role in providing security, and avoid playing a role in the political process.


Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope."
A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. Visit: to learn more about The Carter Center.

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