Africa Report – Russian Influences in Africa [3/5]: Madagascar, the 2018 presidential election is confidential

Africa Report – Russian Influences in Africa [3/5]: Madagascar, the 2018 presidential election is confidential

From our correspondent in Antananarivo

I didn’t know who sent them, but what I did know was that they were Russians and they came here to support me! So me, I didn’t look for noon until two in the afternoon. Pastor Milholl is one of the first candidates in the 2018 Malagasy presidential election to admit, in the face of investigative journalist Gael Borgia, having benefited from the help of the Russians.

In his documentary titled Madagascar, would Russia have rigged the presidential election?Franco-Malagash journalist reveals how Wagner’s men influenced the elections. ” During our investigation, we were able to identify half a dozen Malagasy presidential candidates who had been contacted by the Russians. The latter presented themselves as electoral strategists. They said they had experience with elections in Africa Gael Borgia says.

Very quickly, dozens of Russians who entered the territory thanks to a tourist visa provided logistical and financial assistance. Omar Brezeki, former prime minister and candidate for elections, recounts in the documentary the initial exchanges he had with his interlocutors: “ They asked me if I was ready to open Malagasy diplomacy to other horizons. I said of course! And they told me: we will help you. Question from Gaëlle Borgia: And your budget agreed upon with the Russians was approximately how much? Answer : just under $2 million “.

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“The Russians promised large sums of money”

what we knowthe investigative journalist defines, It is for this electoral intervention in Madagascar that the Russians promised large sums of money. Promises not always kept. They had a large budget to print a free newspaper that was distributed outside the capital, where it published articles for the candidates they supported. And that was thousands of weekly impressions “.

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Gradually, generous financiers merge their different filly teams.

In the heart of the campaign headquarters

Little by little, they became responsible in the Malagasy electoral campaign. According to the testimonies we have obtained, members of the Malagasy electoral teams ended up under their orders. says the journalist

Excerpts from the documentary: It was like they decided what we needed to do and we had to comply. I felt we were more contracted than the candidate’s campaign team As for the counterpart, negotiators are clear about this: “ If one of the candidates ends up in the second round, the Russian-backed losers must support that winning candidate. »

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So, does Andry Rajoelina, the current president, owe his victory to the Russians?

We know that the Russians approached him at the time of the second round – moreover, they changed their tune from the very beginning, thinking that they were more inclined to support the outgoing President Heri Rajaonarimbianina – we know that after his election, the Russians met with the Malagasy. Government ministers, secretly. But today it is difficult to prove that Andry Rajoelina received Russian help to win the presidential elections. Gaëlle Borgia explains.

As for the upcoming elections scheduled for the end of the year, sources have just informed us that many of the members responsible for the electoral interference are on their way to leave the island. The end of the Russian strategy on Malagasy soil? Or the start of a new chapter?

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Read alsoFrom the Soviet legacy to social media, how Russia has established itself in Africa

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