Ex-president Rajoelina wins Madagascar vote

Thursday December 27 2018

Madagascar elections

Madagascar president-elect Andry Rajoelina casts his ballot in Antananarivo, on November 7, 2018. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Former Madagascan President Andry Rajoelina has returned to power after beating rival Marc Ravalomanana in last week's highly contested run-off vote, according to results published Thursday by the electoral commission.

Mr Rajoelina won 55.66 percent against 44.34 percent for Mr Ravalomanana, it said.

The results may be contested after Mr Ravalomanana claimed fraud.

Long-time rivals

The 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.

Mr Rajoelina and Mr Ravalomanana are former presidents and long-time rivals.

They each spent lavishly on campaigning, with promises and handouts distributed liberally to voters, who are among the poorest in Africa.