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Siteny Randrianasoloniaiko: The Main Challenger in Madagascar’s Presidential Election with Strong Emirati and Russian Support

Most of the opponents of Malagasy President Andry Rajoelina, candidate for his succession, are demanding the cancellation of the presidential election. This is not the case for Siteny Randrianasoloniaiko, who becomes the main challenger in the November 14 election, benefiting from strong support both in the Emirates and in Russia.

Siteny Randrianasoloniaiko is most often referred to by his first name only. 47 years old, a strong voice and the build of an athlete, Siteny is a judo champion, president of the Malagasy federation and the African Judo Union, all titles which will explain why the main Malagasy opponent today has access to Putin, a judoka too…

Siteny is a former member of the presidential party and his notoriety is real in the south of Madagascar, very poor and despised since Independence. With its regional base, it hopes to weigh against the candidacies of the leaders of the Malagasy political class, including

Marc Ravalomanana, president from 2002 to 2009 and candidate again for the Presidency, at least until the recent decision of opponents to boycott the election.

While having financed with funds from Dubai, on October 20, a huge gathering at the Antsonjombe Coliseum on behalf of the eleven opposition presidential candidates, Siteny very quickly stood out from his allies by a day. In a recent joint declaration, the collective of opponents had in fact decided that they were opposed to the holding of the presidential election on November 16, by shooting themselves in the foot.

On the other hand, Siteny Randrianasoloniaiko did not hesitate to turn around and go on campaign alone against the outgoing President. Had he not started his campaign ahead of time and with considerable resources? Does he not now have a large team, bodyguards impassive in the face of threats, a plane and helicopters, and also a solid war chest?

Emirati support

Siteny Randrianasoloniaiko, candidate No. 13 in an election which initially had thirteen candidates, chose Vohémar in the north of the country to launch his official electoral campaign, not without having secured his financial backing by numerous trips abroad. In France, on the other hand, where he is hardly expected, only the tireless Jean Pierre Raffarin, the friend of Beijing, met him.

In March 2023, Siteny Randrianasoloniaiko traveled to Dubai where a discreet Malagasy, a large real estate owner, assured him of the support of REALTV, an essential channel in the audiovisual landscape in Madagascar. Often the victim of interference, this media has managed to establish itself among the Malagasy public by dealing with the very heavy issues of Malagasy society threatened by poverty and insecurity.

Despite these connections with the powerful Emiratis, “Siteny”, very conscientious in his search for financial support, met the Qataris in Doha, including Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al-Thani. But above all, “Siteny” was received by the Pope and benefited from a substantial American Catholic support network.

Discreet Russian support

After Russian interference in the 2018 election, detailed by the New York Times, the Russians are still looking for an ideal alternative candidate, who can both offer mining rewards and visibility on the international stage. “Siteny” could be the one who has access to Putin, a judoka like him and whom he knows personally.

The Wagner group, long led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, now deceased, holds economic interests or carries out political influence operations in seven other African countries, including Madagascar. However, a report published on February 16, 2023 by the organization

Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, evokes a meeting between Siteny and a Russian recruiter linked to Wagner.

The very well-informed confidential letter based in Paris, “Africa Intelligence”, goes much further in describing the links which would unite the presidential candidate with Russian interests. The financial networks of “Siteny” go through the Romanian businessman Marius Vizer Jr.” It is with the latter, writes “Africa Intelligence” that he co-directs

Liberty Madagascar for over ten years. The company buys and exports industrial minerals (chrome, mica, copper), precious stones (sapphire, ruby ​​and diamond), as well as gold. It owns two companies established in Madagascar in its own name. »

Additional detail provided by our colleagues from “Africa Intelligence”, the father of Marius Vizer Jr, president of the

International Judo Federation (IFJ), is the intimate of the first circle of

Vladimir Putin, judoka himself. By coincidence, “Siteny”, also a fan of this sport, is the vice-president of the IFJ.

Under these conditions, French diplomacy leaned, on November 14, in favor of the current president Andry Raojelina, who was received at the Élysée last spring! “Mr. President,” Emmanuel Macron declared publicly, “I wanted to tell you of the friendship that binds our two countries, and also to renew my attachment to you succeeding where you are, and my personal attachment to the success of the projects that you have to lead in the service of your people.”

If this is not support from the French President against Russian influence in Africa, it looks like it.

2023-10-31 11:10:42
#Madagascar #Siteny #Randrianasoloniaiko #Putins #candidate

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