Madagascar: Opposition Sues President Over Dual French Nationality

A complaint has been filed with the public prosecutor’s office against Madagascar’s President, Andry Rajoelina following controversial revelations that he holds dual French and Malagay nationalities.

Behind the move is the NGO Action for the Development of Madagascar (ADM), Fanirisoa Ernaivo, together with the opposition RMDM platform – composed by members of the diaspora based in France.

Filed in the capital Antananarivo, the complaint is based on a law that says anyone who acquires citizenship of a foreign country will automatically lose their Malagasy nationality.

Ernaivo, who’s also the former head of the magistrates’ trade union and a former presidential candidate, accused the President of “treason, espionage, use of forgery and attack on state security”.

“We denounced the fact that President Andry Rajoelina lost his nationality under articles 42 and 43 of the Nationality Code and that he concealed it,” she said outside prosecutor’s office.

“He therefore broke the law by standing for election.”

Ernaivo said president’s immunity should not interfere with the procedure, adding that he should not even be allowed to remainin office.

“The election of Rajoelina in 2018 must be void because you have to be Malagasy to run for the highest office. He was not therefore, he cannot hide behind presidential immunity.

“He is a private citizen.”

Political and public raw

Rajoelina has been accused of a lack of transparency since documents this month revealed he had been naturalised by decree in November 2014 by then French prime minister Manuel Valls.

Leaked on social media, the documents included a copy of the decree, also signed by the interior minister, and published in the Official Journal.

Rajoelina has since been urged to clarify the matter.

“The functions of a president of the republic can only fall to a citizen of Malagasy nationality,” said Hajo Andrianainarivelo, head of the opposition Malagasy Miara Miainga party.

Rivo Rakotovao, head of the HVM party, also denounced what he called “treason” and a “moral fault” committed by the President.

Rajoelina’s staff described the leaking of the documents as an “undoubted political move”, adding that Rajoelina was born to a Malagasy mother and father, and is therefore Malagasy.

They also recalled that “a significant percentage of Malagasy people are dual nationals and live in perfect harmony with their political positions.”

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