The presidential election will indeed take place this year”, declared the Prime Minister, Christian Ntsay, during a television program broadcast on national channels on the night of Friday January 20. This statement follows various allegations that the current regime intends to extend its mandate through a new transition that could result in the non-holding of the election.

“The current regime respects the rule of law and has no intention of extending its mandate or postponing the election,” explained the head of government, responding directly to critics. The administration of which he is the leader is ready to carry out the election, which according to the Constitution should be the presidential one. It is the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) which will propose the electoral calendar and the government ratifies it by a decree summoning the voters, he recalls.

2023 Finance Law

Regarding the budget for the presidential election, included in the 2023 finance law, which is around 45 billion ariary, on which the CENI, through its president, declared “insufficient”, the Prime Minister announced that this body will have the necessary funds to organize it. An extension of this budget, within the framework of the amending finance law, is to be expected, as already explained a few days earlier by the Minister of Communication and Culture and no less government spokesperson, Lalatiana Rakotondrazafy Andriatongarivo .

Christian Ntsay also made it clear that he will not be a candidate for this presidential race, as rumors have been circulating a lot lately. Contrary to the political practice in the country in recent years, when we have seen Prime Ministers run for the race for the highest office, as was the case with Camille Vital, Jean Ravelonarivo, Monja Roindefo and Olivier Mahafaly Solonandrasana, he does not plan to turn his back on the one who brought him to his current position.

“Despite the attempts of each and everyone to oppose me to the President of the Republic, it remains in vain because the Head of State and I have good relations (…) We are both driven by patriotism (… ) I respect the word given,” he said. Thus, the Prime Minister shows absolute loyalty to Andry Rajoelina.

Regarding the change of members of the government, the reshuffle, Christian Ntsay said that in truth it is the President of the Republic who has the last word. Admittedly, the post of Minister for Foreign Affairs still remains vacant, after the dismissal of Richard Randriamandrato and General Richard Rakotonirina occupying it only on an interim basis and the members of the government must pass to an assessment, but it is the President of the Republic to take the final decision.

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