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Andry Rajoelina wins Madagascar presidential runoff

December 27, 2018

The electoral commission has announced the provisional result of the runoff presidential vote, despite allegations of electoral fraud. The country's highest court will now decide whether to confirm the win.

Andry Rajoelina
Image: picture-alliance/AP/K. Dhanji

Former Madagascan President Andry Rajoelina is set to return to power after beating rival Marc Ravalomanana in last week's highly contested runoff vote, according to provisional results published Thursday by the electoral commission.

Rajoelina won more than 55 percent of the vote against 44 percent for Ravalomanana, it said.

The constitutional court now has nine days to declare the final election results.

The December 19 runoff between two former heads of state and bitter rivals saw a turnout of just 48 percent.

The two faced off for the first time since Rajoelina replaced Ravalomanana, who was forced from power in 2009, following political turmoil.

Marc Ravalomanana
Rajoelina's rival Marc Ravalomanana could now contest the result of the December 19 runoffImage: Getty Images/AFP/Rijasolo

Electoral fraud complaints from both sides

Both had said they would accept the runoff election's results, but Ravalomanana has denounced what he called "massive fraud." 

Electoral commission chief Hery Rakotomanana said "efforts were made to respond" to concerns raised by both candidates, which included a review of the counting software.

The two-round election was plagued by mutual accusations of vote-rigging in a country with a long history of instability.

Read more: Madagascar: Pre-trial detainees held in 'life-threatening conditions'

They each spent lavishly on campaigning, with promises and handouts distributed liberally to voters.

The Indian Ocean island nation has a population of around 25 million people and is among Africa’s poorest. About 80 percent of the population lives on less than $2 per day.

Improving access to clean water in Madagascar

mm/rt (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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