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Sunday 19 May 2019

Madagascar presidential election looks set to go to a run-off

Neither of the two frontrunners looks set to obtain 50% of the first-round votes.

A voter makes her choice at a polling station in Antananarivo, Madagascar (Kabir Dhanji/AP)
A voter makes her choice at a polling station in Antananarivo, Madagascar (Kabir Dhanji/AP)

By Laetitia Bezain, Associated Press

A run-off presidential election in December is likely in Madagascar where two former presidents are in a tight race, according to results announced from 70% of polling stations.

Seven days after voting, former transitional president Andry Rajoelina is leading with 39% of the votes counted, followed closely by former president Marc Ravalomanana with 36%.

The most recent president, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, is far behind with 7%, according to results from 17,097 of the 24,852 polling stations, according to the national electoral commission.

Presidential hopeful Andry Rajoelina casts his vote (Kabir Dhanji/AP)

A total of 36 candidates contested the November 7 election.

If no candidate wins more than 50% of the votes, a second round will take place on December 19.

All the leading candidates have expressed doubts about the reliability of the commission’s results.

Madagascar has been shaken many times by post-election crises.

A pedestrian passes a wall with election posters (Kabir Dhanji/AP)

“The computer processing of results by the CENI (electoral commission) is not transparent,” said Mr Rajoelina’s representative in a statement, which said they would no longer observe the commission’s counting.

Mr Ravalomanana also voiced suspicions of the count.

“There are many CENI publications that do not correspond to the minutes we have.

“We request the publication and access to electronic files of polling station results by polling station,” said Hanitra Razafimanantsoa, a lawyer for Mr Ravalomanana.

Press Association

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