Madagascan President Is Dropped From List of Election Candidates

Madagascan President Andry Rajoelina was removed from a list of candidates for his job before an election this week, along with the wife of ousted leader Marc Ravalomanana and former President Didier Ratsiraka.

The list of presidential candidates now contains 31 names, compared with the original 41, a statement dated yesterday on the website of the Antananarivo-based High Constitutional Court showed. One candidate withdrew and others were dropped from the list because of irregularities, according to the statement, which gave no further details.

The presidential vote, scheduled for Aug. 23, will be the first in the Indian Ocean island nation since Rajoelina removed Marc Ravalomanana from power in 2009 in an army-backed coup. The Southern African Development Community and the African Union in July asked Rajoelina, Ratsiraka and Lalao Ravalomanana to step down as candidates.

Rajoelina was listed as a candidate in May, after saying in January he had opted against running in an agreement brokered by the SADC. Marc Ravalomanana, who also agreed in January not to run, now lives in exile in South Africa.

Madagascar’s $10 billion economy is forecast to expand 2.6 percent this year, speeding up from 1.9 percent in 2012, according to International Monetary Fund data. That compares with average growth of 5.6 percent for all of sub-Saharan Africa. The country is the world’s second-largest producer of vanilla and cloves.

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