Madagascar leader wins presidential vote, constitutional court says

  • World
  • Friday, 01 Dec 2023

Madagascar's President and a presidential candidate Andry Rajoelina flanked by his wife Mialy Rajoelina as he arrives to cast his ballot at a polling station, during the presidential election in Ambatobe, Antananarivo, Madagascar November 16, 2023. REUTERS/Zo Andrianjafy/ File Photo

ANTANANARIVO (Reuters) - Madagascar's High Constitutional Court on Friday declared incumbent President Andry Rajoelina as the winner of last month's election, effectively handing him a third term.

Rajoelina got 58.96% of the votes cast, the court said after dismissing various challenges lodged against the provisional results announced by the electoral body.

"Andry Rajoelina is elected as the president of the republic of Madagascar and is taking his functions as soon as the swearing (is conducted)," said Florent Rakotoarisoa, the head of the High constitutional court.

One of the challenges which were dismissed included one from the runner-up, lawmaker Siteny Randrianasoloniaiko, who got 14.39% of the vote according to the court.

Ten out of 13 candidates boycotted the poll but their names were already on the ballot, leaving them to share the rest of the votes cast. Turnout was 46.35%, the court said.

The Nov. 16 election was preceded by weeks of protests with the opposition accusing Rajoelina of having created unfair election conditions.

Rajoelina has dismissed allegations of unfairness of the vote and the army has warned against attempts to destabilise the country.

The opposition has described the turn-out of the election as the lowest in the country's history.

Hajo Andrianainarivelo, a former minister among the candidates who boycotted the poll, has vowed to fight against what he said was a lack of respect for the laws of the land, and oppression of the people.

"The popular fight begins now," he said on Thursday.

Rajoelina, 49, first came to power in a 2009 coup. He stepped down in 2014 as leader of a transitional authority but then became president again after winning a 2018 election.

(Reporting by Lovasoa Rabary, Writing by Bhargav Acharya, Editing by Duncan Miriri and Alison Williams)

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