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Former finance minister wins disputed Madagascar vote

Former Finance Minister Hery Rajaonarimampianina won Madagascar’s run-off presidential election, the country’s electoral commission said on Friday, but his main rival claims the vote was rigged.

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Electoral commission (CENIT) leader Beatrice Atallah said Rajaonarimampianina, the candidate backed by President Andry Rajoelina – who ousted his predecessor in a coup in 2009 – took 53.5 percent of the Dec. 20 vote.

His opponent, Robinson Jean Louis, won 46.5 percent, but is calling for a recount.

Jean Louis' camp has filed approximately 300 complaints to the electoral court, which is expected to issue a ruling shortly.

Rajaonarimampianina defended himself against the claims.

"We did everything by the book, I gave instructions to make sure the electoral process would be respected, it is a matter of ethics,” he said.

“This is the first time I am running for president and I want to be elected in a legitimate way, not with the suspicion of fraud."

The election marked the first time voters in the politically turbulent Indian Ocean island headed to the polls since former disc jockey Rajoelina grabbed power. The vote is intended to ease the social and economic crisis that has significantly reduced international aid and investment.

A disputed result could prolong the crisis by delaying any turnaround in currently flagging public spending and growth.

(FRANCE 24 with Reuters)
 

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