Fanirisoa Ernaivo is a Malagasy politician. Candidate in the 2018 presidential election, she is president of the (RMDM Diaspora Rassemblement militant pour la Démocratie à Madagascar) an opposition platform that brings together members of the opposition and Malagasy members of the diaspora. Currently exiled in France, very committed, it fights for the establishment of the rule of law in Madagascar, the strengthening of democracy, the consolidation of good governance, economic development and the eradication of corruption. According to her, “The problem for African leaders is corruption that makes them unable to make the right decisions. Political honesty means thinking first of your country before thinking of your own family, your personal interests, your private interests, but rather of the general interest.” Ze-AfricaNews went to meet him for this exclusive interview.
Ze-Africanews: Hello Mrs Fanirisoa Ernaivo, can you introduce yourself?
Fanirisoa Ernaivo: My name is Fanirisoa Ernaivo, former president of the union of magistrates of Madagascar. I was also a candidate in the 2018 presidential elections in Madagascar and currently I am president of an opposition platform called RMDM Diaspora Rally for Democracy in Madagascar and which brings together the diaspora from abroad.
Ze-Africanews: In 2018, you ran for president in Madagascar? For what purpose?
Fanirisoa Ernaivo: There was a project around but mostly to make my contribution to good governance and the rule of law in my country.
Ze-Africanews: How did the elections go?
Fanirisoa Ernaivo: Like all elections in Africa.Elections in Madagascar were full of frauds.Normally in some countries, we suspect that there was fraud, we imagine how it happened, in our country, we have, I, with a whole team, we were able to discover, the evidence of fraud perpetrated during these elections in 2018 and therefore; we gathered all the evidence, we had documents authenticated by bailiffs by the National Independent Electoral Commission of Madagascar, we presented them before the high constitutional court which also served as electoral courts, but all this was rejected.
The exclusive full interview to watch here:
Ze-Africanews: With your candidacy as a woman, how have you been welcomed by the Malagasy?
Fanirisoa Ernaivo: Malagasy people have always known men in the presidency, but before the colonization, there were queens in Madagascar, it was a monarchy. So there were queens who ruled Madagascar. I think that the Malagasy population is not too reluctant to have a woman in charge of the state.Decision-making was especially difficult enough to juggle between a professional and a political career. You had to choose between the two, that was rather the dilemma, to stand by your professional career to enter a political career.
Ze-Africanews: How did your colleagues in the judiciary react to your participation in the presidential election and the consequences it has had in your life?
Fanirisoa Ernaivo: My fellow magistrates, there are some who have understood and others who have not understood especially at the level of the intellectual class. In Madagascar, intellectuals were not encouraged to enter politics and that is a shame because since then, we have been governed by people who were not graduates.We’ve had DJs, actually it’s an old wild record.I think it’s also time that the intellectuals really take the lead in order to have governments of technicians not only of politicians but of technicians who each know their respective fields to be able to bring out this country of 60 years of stagnation and regression in poverty. It is a pity for a country full of natural resources like Madagascar where there are huge economic, demographic and land potential that can still be developed to advance the country.
Ze-Africanews: What concrete actions are you taking here in France to help your country?
Fanirisoa Ernaivo: Since I arrived in France, we have set up with some associations that share the same ideologies as us, with which we already have a wish for good governance for Madagascar, a wish to see our country come out of misery, a wish to be proud of an emerging country. We have found that this country cannot get away with bad governance from a regime that has no legitimacy.
Ze-Africanews: Tell us about your platform?
Fanirisoa Ernaivo: We are in a platform of opposition of the regime in Madagascar. It’s the Militant Rally for Democracy in Madagascar. This platform brings together political associations, Malagasy citizens, there are also supporters of other nationalities who join our cause and support us in our actions.Since 2019, we have taken steps to denounce and frame the democratic excesses, abuses of bad governance perpetrated by the government and exacerbated by the pandemic crisis and currently exacerbated by climate change. Because we all know that in Madagascar, part of the south of the country is suffering from drought and famine. We sensitized the Malagasy but also the international to take all our responsibility with regard to what is happening because especially the state which has a large part of responsibility in governance, to govern is to provide, it was necessary to provide that these peoplethere were going to be starvation.
Ze-Africanews: What are your proposals to combat this failure?
Fanirisoa Ernaivo: Already for Madagascar we would have to have leaders truly elected in a credible electoral system. Secondly, the rule of law, good governance can only be established by an effective rule of law in a country, it does not exist in Madagascar. As long as there is impunity among the leaders, as long as there is no recognition of the fundamental rights of the population that should be enshrined in the constitution, there will be no development possible. And so these two things are the first fundamental bases of solution in Madagascar. A credible and transparent election free of fraud in a redesigned electoral system. An effective rule of law by talking about the law as a fight against impunity and the right recognized to the citizens and the Malagasy population but not only the rights of the leaders and also a collective awareness of the intellectuals who must now work to to move this country forward and not leave this country in the hands of the only politicians who have no other training than to occupy political positions.
Ze-Africanews: How do you organise your events in Paris?
Fanirisoa Ernaivo: There have been many demonstrations since last year. Concerning denunciations for the construction of a colosseum in a national heritage. There are currently demonstrations against Kiré, famine in the south and they are also being held in other cities in France and in conjunction with the RMDN Diaspora de la Réunion and other European cities. Knowing that we are in Switzerland, in Germany, in Belgium also at the Reunion, in the United States, in several European countries of Africa, in Saudi Arabia and in Asia. So the ideal would be to do simultaneous demonstrations in all these places at the same time but it would be yet another organization.
Ze-Africanews: Do you have a message to send?
Fanirisoa Ernaivo: The message I would like to convey to the Malagasy people in general and also for the African youth is that we should not wait for others to do it. Everyone should take responsibility, each in his own way and in his own little bubble, we must dare to step out of his comfort zone, to help move our country forward. And this is for the African diaspora. We can’t just stay in our adopted countries but think about doing something in politics in this country to move it forward, because you can’t wait for the people in this country to do it, and you’ll wait another 60 years to see that nothing has been done, to see that the country has regressed. So I would like to take the example of the Rwanda of Angola of Ethiopia, which went through periods that touched the bottom but managed to get up because there was a collective awareness. You have to tell yourself now, we have to make sure that we take our country to heart and bring it to the concert of nations so that we know a pride of belonging to our country as Malagasy as an African and as an emerging country that we have more to say to each other because of the colonization, it is because of this, it is because of this, but we have taken our responsibilities and we continue to do so. There will be pitfalls, there will be difficulties, there will be disappointments, there will be betrayals, there will also be joys, there will be encouragement but in any case, we will manage to align ourselves, we will manage to get out of our torpor of misery. We will be able to do something good and put our country where it should be. To add to that, I would also say to anyone who wants to get into politics the first thing is to have honesty and integrity. The problem for African leaders is corruption, which means that they can no longer make the right decisions because of what they have done as corruptions, and that honesty is to think first of the country before thinking of its family, to his private interests, to his private interests but to think of the general interest, by saying that what I am going to build today, it will remain for generations and I and my children will be able to enjoy it. That is what would make a good policy in Africa rather than thinking here, I am going to take this sum which will make me three generations sheltered from need while it would have negative impacts on the future of the country as it is currently happening. By selling everything that is for sale in the country instead of making them grow for the nation and being able to benefit everyone.