Polls close in high-stakes Madagascar presidential election

Tens of millions of citizens in Madagascar have solid their ballots in a presidential election, because the Indian Ocean island struggles to create jobs, combat poverty and finish corruption.

Polling stations opened at 6am native time (03:00 GMT) and closed at 5pm (14:00 GMT).  In spite of lengthy queues, no anomalies have been detected within the polls, in keeping with the pinnacle of the Ecu Union’s observer undertaking, Cristian Preda. 

Then again, Al Jazeera’s Fahmida Miller, reporting from the capital, Antananarivo, stated many of us had issues whilst looking to vote and may now not in finding their identify at the record regardless of having registered.

In keeping with the rustic’s electoral fee, the CENI, turnout used to be round 40 p.c.

President Hery Rajaonarimampianina is looking for a 2d time period in place of business and his two major challengers are former heads of state: Marc Ravalomanana and Andry Rajoelina.

All 3 have crisscrossed the island in a hunt for votes and each and every has pledged to boost up restoration for an economic system the World Financial Fund (IMF) forecasts will develop at greater than 5 p.c this 12 months, its easiest price in a decade.

Civil society teams accuse the 3 rich frontrunners of enriching themselves in place of business, one thing each and every denies.

The teams stated a fisheries deal the incumbent signed with Chinese language corporations in September is opaque and can impoverish native fishermen.

Additionally they stated Ravalomanana did not take on corruption right through his time in place of business that led to 2009, when he used to be pressured out by means of protests led by means of Rajoelina in what world organisations just like the African Union stated used to be a coup.

Conservation teams then accused Rajoelina, the person who overthrew him, of taking advantage of the plunder of herbal sources.

Praying for alternate

As queues began forming on Wednesday morning within the capital, Antananarivo, voter Sahondramalala Nirisoa advised Reuters information company she had arrived early as a result of she had to get to paintings. 

“I’m hoping and I pray for a transformation,” she stated. “This is the reason I got here to vote.”

In keeping with a Global Financial institution record, greater than 80 p.c of the inhabitants lives in poverty. 

There are just about 10 million registered citizens within the nation of 25 million other folks, information from the electoral fee confirmed.

Few analysts be expecting an outright winner from the 36 overall who’re contesting.

If the ballot wishes to visit a 2d spherical, it’s going to contain handiest the 2 best applicants and happen on December 19.

Since a relaxed election in 2013, traders and donor governments re-engaged following a four-year freeze that started after Rajoelina got here to energy.

The occasions of 2009 brought on an exodus of international traders from a rustic that is likely one of the international’s poorest regardless of reserves of nickel, cobalt, gold, uranium and different minerals.

The island used to be hit by means of a contemporary political disaster in April sparked by means of a prison modification by means of Rajaonarimampianina’s executive that might have averted Ravalomanana from status for place of business.

Rajaonarimampianina authorized a brand new regulation casting off that provision the next month, permitting Ravalomanana to check in as a candidate.

Al Jazeera and information companies

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