The Madagascan government on Tuesday called on voters to go to the polls in November and December to re-elect current president Andry Rajoelina or choose a successor.
"According to the law in force in Madagascar, we are going to hold an election this year. The head of government is therefore calling voters to the polls" on 9 November for the first round of the presidential election, "and on 20 December for the second round, if there is one", said the prime minister's office in a statement.
This announcement merely endorses the proposed date put forward by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Prime Minister Christian Ntsay used the release to call for "calm and mutual respect" in the electoral process.
The situation on the Indian Ocean island state is tense, not least because of the controversy surrounding President Andry Rajoelina's dual French-Malagasy nationality.
Having been naturalised as a French citizen on the sly in 2014, Andry Rajoelina would lose his Malagasy nationality, in accordance with the Malagasy nationality code. Without his Malagasy nationality, he will be unable to run the country or stand for election. But this version of events is vigorously contested by the TGV presidential party.
In the opposition, only former head of state Marc Ravalomanana, overthrown in a coup d'état in 2008 by Andry Rajoelina, has officially announced his candidacy for the country's presidency.
On 6 June, France and the European Union, via their ambassadors, had already announced a promise of financial aid, to the tune of one million euros each, for the holding of this election.