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Published: Friday January 3, 2014 MYT 4:55:03 PM
Updated: Friday January 3, 2014 MYT 4:55:03 PM

Ex-finance minister wins disputed Madagascar vote

Madagascar's presidential candidate Hery Rajaonarimampianina (C) holds his ballot before casting his vote at a polling centre in Tsimbazaza area of the capital Antananarivo December 20, 2013. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

Madagascar's presidential candidate Hery Rajaonarimampianina (C) holds his ballot before casting his vote at a polling centre in Tsimbazaza area of the capital Antananarivo December 20, 2013. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

ANTANANARIVO (Reuters) - Former Finance Minister Hery Rajaonarimampianina won Madagascar's run-off presidential election, the electoral commission (CENIT) said on Friday, but his main rival claims the vote was rigged.

CENIT leader Beatrice Atallah said Rajaonarimampianina, the candidate backed by President Andry Rajoelina who ousted his predecessor in a coup in 2009, won 53.5 percent of the December 20 vote.

He beat Jean Louis Robinson, who ended up with 46.5 percent but has demanded a recount. Robinson's camp has filed almost 300 complaints to the electoral court, which now has to rule on the result.

The poll, the fist since former disc jockey Rajoelina grabbed power, is meant to end a crisis that has driven out investors, cut aid flows and sharply slowed the economy.

A disputed result could prolong the malaise on the politically volatile Indian Ocean island and delay restoring the external budget support needed to drive public spending and boost anaemic growth.

(Reporting by Alain Iloniaina; Writin by Richard Lough; Editing by John Stonestreet)

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