President of Madagascar Andry Rajoelina has announced he will run for re-election in November.
Rajoelina made the announcement at a grand ceremony hosted in the largest stadium on the sizable island in the Indian Ocean, which is scheduled to hold the presidential election on November 9.
Rajoelina first took power in 2009 on the back of a coup that ousted former president Marc Ravalomanana.
“The Constitution allows me to run for a second term” he said on a stage decorated with flags bearing his image and with giant screens which hosted evangelical music groups and popular Malagasy singers, before his speech.
Rajoelina was re-elected in 2018 after failing to run in the 2013 election owing to international criticism.
Rajoelina addressed thousands of fans dressed in the party colors of orange and white at the Barea stadium, where a dozen people perished in a stampede at the end of August, highlighting the infrastructure constructed over the last five years.
Proclaiming himself to be a “builder president,” he listed schools, courts and even prisons that had been built during his presidency.
The head of state has in recent months been facing questions over his dual French nationality.
Naturalised in France in 2014, the president would lose his Madagascar nationality under local law.
He cannot rule the country or run for office unless he has Malagasy nationality.
Ravalomanana, a 73-year-old millionaire who gained his fortune in the agri-food industry, has yet to accept his defeat and launched his campaign for the upcoming presidential election in July.
Despite its tremendous natural riches, Madagascar, which is frequently battered by destructive hurricanes, is one of the world’s poorest countries.
Approximately 80% of the 28 million-person population lives on less than $1.92 per day.