US News: Madagascar: Beginning of the census of voters for the overhaul of the electoral list

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À Madagascar, la Commission Électorale Nationale Indépendante commence le recensement des électeurs en vue de la refonte totale de la liste électorale. © L. Bezain/RFI in Madagascar, the independent national electoral commission begins the census of voters for the total overhaul of the electoral list.

The independent national electoral commission began this weekend door-to-door with households in the whole island. An operation that will continue for three months. The complete overhaul of the electoral list must take place every 10 years. A crucial step for the next elections and in particular the presidential election of 2023, especially since the CENI file had been called into question by various political parties and simple citizens during the previous elections. Some 5,000 enumerators have been deployed in the country.

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With our correspondent in Antananarivo, Laetitia Bezain

vests with the effigy of the CENI, tablets in hand, the unverse agents sink into the alleys of the Nanisana district. "Hello Madam, are you aware of the census campaign?" Asks one of them.

In a few minutes, the names of Elia Ramahatsanta, housewife, her husband and their daughter are recorded in the CENI database. “We just needed our identity card and our Fokontany notebook (neighborhood, editor's note). It is important to register to exercise our law. We have already had problems to be able to vote a few years ago because our complete names were not well registered.

Malagasy citizens at least 18 years old can also move directly to the Fokontany, the administrative offices of the neighborhood, to register. The Ministry of Justice launched a procedure of additional judgments for citizens who have no birth certificate and national identity card, essential to be able to register on the electoral list, a few weeks ago.

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The task of the CENI to obtain an exhaustive, reliable list, accepted by all is large. “International standards provide that the number of voters must represent at least half of the Malagasy population. We therefore plan to make the census of at least 13.5 million inhabitants. Citizens must be aware of the importance of this census operation since if they are not registered on the electoral list, they will not be able to vote for the candidate of their choice or to form appeal if they consider that there had anomalies during the electoral operation, ”explains Dama Arsène Andrianizedo, president of this body in charge of the elections.

Political parties or associations can sit as an observers within the local census commissions set up at each district, indicates the decree relating to the total overhaul of the electoral lists.

“This operation was implemented by observing an approach to inclusiveness and transparency. Political parties and civil society organizations have been invited from the start to formulate suggestions in relation to their expectations. There were even consultation executives who were organized in Antananarivo and in the provincial chiefs. At first, they are informed of the ins and outs of the redesign and subsequently, we ask them to make suggestions to improve the content of the overhaul, "continues the president of the CENI.

The members of the electoral commission had estimated the necessary budget for this complete overhaul of the electoral list at around 50 billion ariary. At the time of starting this operation, it has half. All the operations of this overhaul must continue until June 10, 2023.

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