Madagascar Government Bans Opinion Poll Before Presidential Vote

(Bloomberg) -- Madagascar’s government banned the publication of an opinion poll, six weeks before the Indian Ocean island nation is scheduled to hold presidential elections.

The state barred Antananarivo-based magazine Politika from publishing the results of the survey citing a threat to “public order,” the publication said in a statement on Wednesday. The poll was commissioned by Germany’s Friedrich Ebert Foundation.

The head of Madagascar’s electoral commission, Hery Rakotomanana, had raised concerns about opinion polls on Tuesday, saying they were difficult to carry out because of disparities in voters’ levels of education and political awareness, Agence France-Presse reported. The vote is scheduled for Nov. 7.

Elections in Madagascar, the world’s biggest vanilla producer, tend to trigger periods of instability. The last vote in 2013, the first after a military takeover in 2009, was held two years behind schedule because of repeated delays. In 2002, former President Marc Ravalomanana triggered a political crisis when he declared himself winner without waiting for a runoff after a disputed vote.

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