Tuesday 20 February 2018
(BBC News Africa 10/28/13)
International observers have described Madagascar's presidential election as free and transparent, as results slowly come through. Friday's poll was the first to be held on the island since a coup in 2009. Preliminary results show that an ally of the ousted leader Marc Ravalomanana has taken an early lead. Richard Jean-Louis Robinson has about 30% of the votes so far, while his main rival Hery Martial Rakotoarimanana Rajaonarimampianina has just over 15%. Full results cold take as long as a week to emerge. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the votes cast, a second round will be held on 20 December. The EU's chief election observer, Maria Muniz de Urquiza, described Friday's elections as "free, transparent and credible",...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/28/13)
ANTANANARIVO | (Reuters) - Madagascar's first presidential election since a military-backed coup was free and fair, European Union (EU) and Southern African observers said on Sunday, as early results trickled out two days after the poll. The announcements were a boost for the Indian Ocean island which needs a credible vote to rebuild investors' confidence and win back aid suspended after dissident troops propelled Andry Rajoelina into power in 2009. But foreign envoys warned there was still time for an upset. Full results cold take as long as a week to emerge and the two front-runners both anticipate a second-round runoff, prolonging the uncertainty. "This election has been free, transparent and credible," the head of the EU observer mission, Maria...
(The Independent 10/27/13)
East London - The people of Africa must reject any idea from outside the continent which would lead to regime change in an African state, President Jacob Zuma said on Saturday. “Through the AU (African Union), the peoples of Africa must reject any idea from outside the continent which seeks to foster an agenda of regime change,” Zuma said at the University of Fort Hare's East London campus. In a speech prepared for delivery at the university's Organisation of African Unity (OAU) 50th anniversary lecture, the president said the replacement of democratically elected governments on the continent must be rejected. “We must do everything we can to prevent Africa from being cheaply auctioned as a result of the ineptitude and...
(CNN 10/26/13)
(CNN) -- Is Sepp Blatter angling for another term as head of world football? The 77-year-old vowed at the 2011 FIFA presidential elections, where he stood unopposed after a bribery controversy ruled out his only rival, that this would be his fourth and final four-year stint in office. However, this week he hinted that he has "a mission" to fulfill and said he feels "young enough to be in this office." And he fueled speculation that he may stand again with comments in Friday's release of the FIFA Weekly magazine, in which he said the African and Asian regions deserved more representation at World Cup finals. Blatter, who has stayed in power since 1998 by vowing to take FIFA's showpiece...
(AFP (eng) 10/25/13)
ANTANANARIVO, October 25, 2013 (AFP) - Polls closed Friday in Madagascar's crunch elections expected to restore democracy and attract desperately needed foreign aid after a 2009 coup plunged the island nation into crisis. Voting was generally peaceful, despite isolated incidents including the murder of a local government official in a polling station, which authorities said was unrelated to the polls. A polling station in the north was also torched as voters sought to end a crisis which has crippled the Indian Ocean island since strongman Andry Rajoelina, 39, ousted Marc Ravalomanana four years ago. Officials pulled down shutters at polling stations at 5:00 pm (1400 GMT), having opened 11 hours earlier in this deeply impoverished country. However, some polling stations...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/25/13)
ANTANANARIVO | Fri Oct 25, 2013 (Reuters) - The people of Madagascar voted on Friday in a presidential election they hope will end a political crisis and prompt investors and donors to return to the Indian Ocean island, four years after a coup sent its economy reeling. Street protests backed by mutinous troops propelled former disc jockey Andry Rajoelina, 39, to power in 2009 in the country of 22 million people, famed for its exotic wildlife and eyed by foreign firms for its oil, nickel, cobalt and gold. Since then, donors such as the European Union, International Monetary Fund and World Bank have frozen funds, economic growth has slumped and poverty has worsened. Madagascar has struggled to lure back tourists...
(AFP (eng) 10/25/13)
ANTANANARIVO, October 25, 2013 (AFP) - Madagascar voted in crunch elections Friday to restore democracy after a 2009 coup plunged the island nation into crisis, with isolated incidents of violence leaving one dead. A senior government official was killed and a polling station torched as voters sought to end a crisis which has crippled the country since strongman Andry Rajoelina, 39, ousted Marc Ravalomanana four years ago. An interior ministry source speaking on condition of anonymity said the district chief had been killed while hiding in a polling station in an apparent revenge attack unrelated to the election. "Already before the elections someone had stolen his cattle and set fire to his house," the ministry official told AFP. Another person...
(Voice of America 10/25/13)
Polls have opened as Madagascar holds a long-delayed presidential election, a step seen as crucial to restoring democratic rule following a 2009 coup. Thirty-three candidates are vying to become president. None is expected to receive enough votes to avoid a December runoff election. Coup-leader Andry Rajoelina and the man he ousted, Marc Ravalomanana, have been barred from running, leaving no clear favorites. Rajoelina took over as transitional leader in 2009 has but failed to follow through on his promise to hold elections within two years. The coup is widely considered to have sent the already impoverished African island nation of 22 million people into an economic crisis. Madagascar is now one of the least developed countries in the world. The...
(BBC News Africa 10/25/13)
Voters in Madagascar are going to the polls in the first election since the military-backed coup four years ago. Thirty-three candidates are contesting the election, which has been postponed three times this year. Two front-runners are competing with a similar pledge to rebuild Madagascar's economy after years of political and economic crisis. Over 92% of the country's 21 million people live on less than $2 (£1.2) a day, according to the World Bank. The two front-runners, Hery Martial Rakotoarimanana Rajaonarimampianina and Richard Jean-Louis Robinson, are both pledging to rebuild Madagascar's economy. President Andry Rajoelina ousted Marc Ravalomanana from power in 2009, plunging the island nation into political turmoil and leaving the country isolated by the international community and deprived of...
(BBC News Africa 10/25/13)
Voters in Madagascar are going to the polls in the first election since the military-backed coup four years ago. Thirty-three candidates are contesting the election, which has been postponed three times this year. Two front-runners are competing with a similar pledge to rebuild Madagascar's economy after years of political and economic crisis. Over 92% of the country's 21 million people live on less than $2 (£1.2) a day, according to the World Bank. The two front-runners, Hery Martial Rakotoarimanana Rajaonarimampianina and Richard Jean-Louis Robinson, are both pledging to rebuild Madagascar's economy. President Andry Rajoelina ousted Marc Ravalomanana from power in 2009, plunging the island nation into political turmoil and leaving the country isolated by the international community and deprived of...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/25/13)
ANTANANARIVO | Fri Oct 25, 2013 (Reuters) - The people of Madagascar began voting on Friday in a presidential election they hope will end a five-year crisis and rebuild investor confidence to mend an economy crippled since President Andry Rajoelina seized power in a 2009 coup. It was the first vote on the huge nickel- and vanilla-producing island off Africa since the upheaval triggered by protests and mutinous soldiers that drew sanctions against Madagascar and prompted donors to freeze crucial budget support. Election officials at one primary school in the capital, Antananarivo, showed the first voters and political party representatives the empty plastic ballot boxes before sealing the containers. The first ballots were cast shortly after 2300 ET Thursday. "We...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/25/13)
BRUSSELS | Fri Oct 25, 2013 (Reuters) - European Union leaders rebuffed calls from southern European states on Friday for emergency action to tackle a wave of illegal migration from Africa despite the deaths of hundreds of people in Mediterranean boat disasters. EU leaders meeting in Brussels expressed "deep sadness" at the drownings, which have killed up to 550 migrants this month alone, but postponed any new action until December. A more thorough overhaul of the bloc's immigration policies will wait until after next year's European elections when rising anti-immigration sentiment is set to boost far-right parties. Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, among southern European leaders who had called for urgent action from the EU summit, put a brave face...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/25/13)
SAN FRANCISCO | (Reuters) - Seeking to avoid a repeat of Facebook Inc's much-maligned public debut, Twitter Inc revealed more modest ambitions, saying its initial offering would raise up to $1.6 billion and value the company at up to about $11 billion. The valuation was more conservative than the $15 billion some analysts had expected for the social media phenomenon, potentially attracting investors who might consider the money-losing company's listing price a better deal, with room to rise. Twitter had signaled for weeks it would price its IPO modestly to avoid the sort of stock plummet that spoiled Facebook's coming-out party. It said on Thursday it intends to sell 70 million shares between $17 and $20 apiece, raking in up...
(Voice of America 10/23/13)
JOHANNESBURG — As Madagascar prepares for crucial presidential polls on Friday, UNICEF is hoping the vote will bring much-needed stability after five years of political crisis left the island’s 22 million people in dire need. With an estimated 92 percent of the population living on just $2 a day, UNICEF says there is not more time to waste. Madagascar has moved from one problem to another since 2009, when Andry Rajoelina, the mayor of the capital, Antananarivo, ousted President Marc Ravalomanana in a coup backed by the army. The political upheaval dominated the government and little to no attention was paid to the needs of the people. Steven Lauwerier, UNICEF Representative in Madagascar, said the presidential vote on Friday is...
(The Guardian 10/23/13)
A coup in 2009 has led the island republic into poverty. But presidential elections on Friday could reverse that trend. It is 4pm in the highland village of Antanifotsy and the Ranaivo family is hard at work, catching the last hour of daylight before heading home. Amid the terraced rice paddies so typical of the central plateaux of Madagascar, they are building a huge kiln, laid with about 15,000 bricks. They hope to finish it today so that they can fire it tomorrow; the bricks should be ready within three days, selling for Ar50 each (about 1p). For farming families like the Ranaivos, brick-making is a lifeline, an income-generating activity to tide them over the dry winter months. The trouble...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/23/13)
UNITED NATIONS | (Reuters) - The African Union and Kenya asked the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday to defer the trials of Kenya's leaders at the International Criminal Court for one year so they can deal with the aftermath of the Nairobi mall attack. In a letter to the council obtained by Reuters, African leaders said the legal proceedings against President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto "will distract and prevent them from fulfilling their constitutional responsibilities, including oversight for national and regional security affairs." Kenyatta and Ruto face charges of crimes against humanity related to the violence that followed Kenya's 2007 elections, in which 1,200 people died. Both deny the charges and have tried to have the prosecutions...
(Voice of America 10/23/13)
Aid group Save the Children is highlighting progress in combating child mortality in many developing nations in Africa, while also warning of the need to address inequalities to help children have a better chance of surviving. The group issued a new report Wednesday saying the world has made "remarkable" improvements in child health, but that kids in poor and rural areas, as well as girls and infants, remain more at risk of dying. Its profile of Ethiopia spotlights the divide. The country has cut child mortality by 67 percent since the United Nations set a target to cut child moratlity by that rate worldwide by 2015. However, Save the Children says kids in the poorest 40 percent of Ethiopia's population...
(BBC News Africa 10/23/13)
South Korea's largest tobacco company has promised to change an advertising campaign after accusations of racism. Posters promoting a new line of cigarettes featured pictures of monkeys dressed as news reporters, declaring "Africa is coming!" The cigarettes are part of a new This Africa line. The company, KT&G, says they contain African tobacco roasted and dried in a traditional fashion. The cigarette packets contain images of monkeys roasting tobacco.'Mocking Africa'. "We are deeply offended by KT&G's shameless and insulting use of this mocking imagery," said the African Tobacco Control Alliance in a statement calling for the withdrawal of the ad campaign, saying it was "at a minimum culturally insensitive". Cigarette ad featuring a monkey in South Korea Ads for This...
(Voice of America 10/22/13)
The international human rights N-G-O, Light for the World, dedicated to empowering people with disabilities through community rehabilitation, announced an alliance that will focus on giving a voice to people with disabilities in developing nations. The group says it has received a declaration of support from its newly formed international board of ambassadors, who have pledged to work towards creating an inclusive society for people who are treated as outcasts because of a disability. Light for the World says on average persons with disabilities and households with a disabled member experience higher rates of deprivations including food insecurity, poor housing, and lack of access to water and sanitation. Gabriel Muller is director of public relations and international alliances for Light...
(Dw-World 10/21/13)
Shunned by foreign investors, wracked by poverty, empty state coffers and economic decline, Madagascar has been caught in crisis since a coup in 2009. Presidential elections at the end of October might be a way out. Erick Regis Rakotomalala rings the small bell on his rickshaw. He has a woolen blanket slung over his shoulders, because it is a cold morning in Madagascar's central highlands. For Rakotomalala and the other rickshaw drivers, it is a long wait for the day's first fare. "Since the start of the crisis we haven't had many customers. People who live here can't afford our services," he said. "If it weren't for the tourists we wouldn't be earning anything at all. And even what we...

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