Former Madagascan president Andry Rajoelina was set to return to power as partial election results on Saturday gave him a clear lead over his rival Marc Ravalomanana, who has alleged the vote count was fraudulent.
With 3 million ballots counted out of about 5 million casts, Rajoelina had won 55.1% against 44.8% for Ravalomanana after Wednesday’s run-off election, according to the electoral commission.
Complete results are expected next week, before a period in which they can be legally challenged via the courts.
The two-round election was beset by allegations of fraud from both sides and the result may be contested, raising the risk of political instability in the Indian Ocean Island which has a history of coups and unrest.
“We are still waiting for the full results but I believe that the current results are irreversible. Victory is ours!” Hajo Andrianainarivelo, a senior member of Rajoelina’s team, told AFP.
Hanitra Razafimanantso, a lawmaker close to Ravalomanana, said they demanded transparency over how the vote was being counted.
“We have heard that the publication of the results has been made so far on the basis of scanned return sheets. We demand the actual returns because we suspect manipulation,” he says.
Ravalomanana is due to issue a statement on Sunday, the campaign team said.
EU election observers said Friday they had not seen evidence of malpractice.
“The Madagascans voted in a peaceful atmosphere in a transparent and well-organised poll,” mission head Cristian Preda told reporters.
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