File photo taken on Aug.14, 2013 shows Madagascar's Transitional President Andry Rajoelina speaks at the Presidential office. An electoral court in Madagascar has removed the names of three high-profile presidential contenders, including strongman Andry Rajoelina, whose disputed candidacies had stalled polls aimed at ending a four-year political crisis. (Xinhua/ He Xianfeng)
ANTANANARIVO, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- Madagascar's Special Electoral Court (CES) late Saturday cancelled eight candidacies including those of the three controversial contenders to run in this year's presidential elections.
Transitional President Andry Rajoelina and his two rivals, former president Didier Ratsiaraka and ex-first lady Lalao Ravalomanana, are among the candidates removed from the list of competitors for the presidency.
The CES said the eight candidates have three days to appoint other people to replace them in the presidential race.
The court rejected Rajoelina's candidacy, citing his failure to file the application before the deadline on April 28.
In the cases of the ex-first lady and Ratsiraka, the court said they do not meet the requirement outlined in the Constitution that any candidate for the office of president must reside in the territory of the Republic of Madagascar for at least six months prior to the deadline for application.
For the moment, 31 candidates have been accepted by the CES to run in the presidential race, whose date is expected between Oct. 8 and Oct. 18, according to the latest information from the Independent National Election Commission.
Political analysts say the CES decision is helpful in breaking the stalemate in the Indian Ocean island country over the controversial candidacies and in resolving the crisis since late 2008.
The three leading candidates had previously vowed to stay on to bring the whole process in danger of derailment.
However, the former president of the National Assembly (parliament), Mahafaritsy Samuel, told Xinhua by telephone that it will not create appeasement, but it will put the political situation to the departure point.
It may lead to "hatred and frustration of those who were excluded from the race," Samuel warned.
"There are always those who are sad, but me, as an expert in law, I see this decision very normal. Maybe Ravalomanana's supporters are not happy because they have expressed several times not to change their candidate, but they cannot go to the streets for demonstration because they appointed a representative in the new CES," an expert in international law, Ramadany Omar Abderman, told Xinhua .
"I think that candidates already canceled should not appoint substitutes. Only 31 candidates should run to the presidential race," Abderman added.
The international community in June pressed for the restructuring of the CES after it validated the three controversial figures as presidential candidates in May.
Madagascar was plunged into a political crisis in late 2008. In March 2009, Rajoelina replaced Marc Ravalomanana with the backing of the military. The takeover was seen as a coup by the international community.
Under a roadmap brokered by the 15-nation Southern African Development Community, Madagascar, a member state of the regional bloc, is expected to end the protracted crisis with a successful vote.