Two ex-leaders for 2nd round in Madagascar presidential poll

Former presidents Andry Rajoelina and Marc Ravalomanana won most votes in Madagascar’s presidential election, according to provisional results issued on Saturday that pointed to a likely second round.

Rajoelina led with 39.19 per cent of the vote followed by Ravalomanana with 35.29 per cent. The incumbent President Hery Rajaonarimampianina, seeking a second term in office, was a distant third with about nine per cent.

A total of 36 candidates ran for president. Turnout was 54.23 per cent, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said.

The final results will be announced in nine days by the constitutional court and if no candidate has a majority, the top two will compete in a second round on December 19.

Voters are eager for a leader who will tackle the impoverished Indian Ocean Island’s many problems including unemployment and corruption.

Madagascar is hoping for the second peaceful election since upheaval in 2009 when Ravalomanana was forced out of office by protests led by Rajoelina in what international organisations such as the African Union said was a coup. -Reuters

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