Friday , 1 July 2022
The Special Electoral Court has one week to restore the wanted new order. The short deadline would suggest that the completion of its mission would come up to peanuts. Yet, as per usual, the international mediation's recommendations are merely partly implemented since the year 2009's putsch. Once again, Andry Rajoelina has not kept his word and puts his money on an accomplished fact. But which one then? The Special Electoral Court provides with the answer.

Could judges who have political interests ever be trusted

On May 2013, Madagascar has entered a new phase of the now five years old political crisis. Differences of opinions, concerning the presidential elections, currently do bring the whole political settlement process to a standstill. This stumbling block was blamed on the late Special Electoral Court for accepting two candidacies which did allegedly not comply with the electoral code, and moreover another one which definitely no complied with them.

Magistrate Francis Rakotozafy was elected president of the new Special Electoral Court by its peers. The first task will consist into revoking the former Special Electoral Court’s decisions, as commanded by the international mediation. A brand new legal trick will circumvent the “res judicata” principle, and pave the way to the alteration of the former Court’s decisions. But will things actually go this way? The completion of such a process fully depends on the voluntary withdrawal of candidates not remotely interested into cooperating.

Special deeds are consequently expected from this Special Court. Its very composition reflects already a political majority. And no one may pledge its judges’ political neutrality.

In the end, Rajoelina sphere will be entitled to a majority inside the Special Electoral Court, even though the supposedly neutral François Rakotozafy ravishes its presidency. The new president of the Special Electoral Court promises to be inflexible in applying the law.

What a disgrace for the previous electoral court which has been discharged but not sanctioned. It is now clear that the “confidentiality of the investigation” suffered leaks which reveale to Norbert Ratsirahonana and Co. the decision to accept Lalao Ravalomanana’s application. The former Special Electoral Court was consequently forced to include another candidate, whose application violated nearly all of the electoral laws.

The second Special Electoral Court remains a double-edged sword though for the mediation and the International Community. She indeed had to give in to pressure to keep controversial candidates in, bearing in mind that the reshuffle merely intended to recover confidence from every political decision maker. Is it possible when you have ten political groups who are both judges and parties to try a ballot 51 candidates? In any case, the country’s salvation might not not emerge straight away from an electoral court in which judicial and political interests happen to be too closely intertwined.