Candidates vying for Presidency in Madagascar have expressed concerns over what they termed very weak campaign finance laws.
The candidates said they are disappointed with the participation of former Presidents and ministers who have substantial means in the November 7 polls which places other candidates at a disadvantage.
A few days to the polls, Presidential candidate, Ny Rado Rafalimanana, denounced the situation which he fears might hampers the smoothness of the race pitting an assortment of 36 politicians.
So in fact they have some privilege, compared to us . One, on financial resources. Two, in logistics.
“So in fact they have some privileges, compared to us . One, on financial resources. Two, in logistics. Three, in the permits, and in fact all the mic-mac that the state gives to these three candidates,” he added.
Ny Rado claims his budget of $1 million, a trifle compared to big candidates, who would allegedly spend several tens of millions of dollars.
The absence of a cap on spending and just a few obligations to disclose sources of funding, make the system ripe for abuse.
“A candidate who uses $182 million that the media have been spreading in Madagascar. And till today, no one takes note. That even the presidents of the United States during election they did not use such an amount. Where does this money come from?” Ny Rado said.
Though one of the world’s poorest countries, Madagascar’s elections are ranked among the most expensive.
A 2016 study estimates that incumbent President Hery Rajaonarimampianina spent about $21.50 for each vote won, beating Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump’s 2016 bids.
The candidates have been campaigning in the Capital, Antananrivo, where the presidential candidates will this weekend hold their final rallies before Wednesday’s election.