Mada­gas­car pres­i­den­tial poll: Ex-leader holds slim lead

Global Times US Edition - - WORLD -

Count­ing of votes from a pres­i­den­tial poll was un­der­way in Mada­gas­car early Thurs­day with for­mer leader Andry Ra­joelina com­mand­ing a slim lead in early re­sults from a small num­ber of polling sta­tions.

Pre­lim­i­nary re­sults from the In­de­pen­dent Na­tional Elec­toral Com­mis­sion ( INEC) re­leased early Thurs­day from about a hun­dred polling sta­tions out of more than 24,000 showed Ra­joelina ahead of his two main ri­vals with 44.4 per­cent of the vote.

The poll pits Ra­joelina against in­cum­bent Pres­i­dent Hery Ra­jaonari­mampianina who is seek­ing a se­cond term in of­fice and an­other for­mer leader Marc Raval­o­manana. The con­test has drawn a to­tal of 36 can­di­dates.

Vot­ers are ea­ger to get a win­ner who will tackle the im­pov­er­ished In­dian Ocean is­land’s myr­iad prob­lems in­clud­ing un­em­ploy­ment and cor­rup­tion.

Ernest Razafind­raibe, an elec­toral of­fi­cial told Reuters voter turnout was 45 per­cent.

“Even if the re­sults are not yet of­fi­cial, the trend of vic­tory of the Mala­gasy peo­ple and Mada­gas­car is emerg­ing,” Ra­joelina told his sup­port­ers late Wed­nes­day at his cam­paign head­quar­ters in the cap­i­tal.

Raval­o­manana, too promised vic­tory to his sup­port­ers, “I en­cour­age you to be calm and to be care­ful, not to take into ac­count some mis­lead­ing fig­ures...we will win, do not worry.”

Be­cause of the un­usual high num­ber of con­tes­tants, few ex­pect an out­right win­ner and the poll is widely ex­pected to go into a se­cond round. This would in­volve only the two top can­di­dates and would be held on December 19.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.