The Department of State warns Westerners traveling to or residing in Madagascar that the first round of presidential elections will take place on Friday, October 25, 2013. As election results will not be finalized immediately, the Embassy in Antananarivo urges continued caution in the weeks following the elections. This Travel Alert will expire after certification of the first round, anticipated to take place by November 25.
Currently, elections are proceeding on the basis of an agreement brokered by the South African Development Community (SADC), with support from the international community. The agreement aims to place Madagascar on a path to a democratically elected presidency. Despite the agreement, the possibility of spontaneous protests during this election cycle remains a serious concern.
Westerners in Madagascar are strongly urged to avoid voter polling places, demonstrations, political rallies, or large crowds of any kind during the election period. Even gatherings intended to be peaceful can turn violent with little or no warning.