Former Madagascar presidents to contest run-off vote

Antananarivo – Two former presidents of Madagascar, Andry Rajoelina and Marc Ravalomanana, will face each other in a run-off election next month to decide who will lead the Indian Ocean island nation, the country’s top court announced Wednesday.

The run-off comes after no candidate won more than 50% of votes required for a first-round victory on November 7.

The last two candidates, Rajoelina received, 39.23% of votes and Ravalomanana 35.35%, according to final results released by Constitutional Court.

“The two candidates cleared to go to the second round are Andry Rajoelina and Marc Ravalomanana,” Constitutional Court judge president Jean Eric Rakotoarisoa said.

The run-off vote is expected to be held on December 19.

This will be the first time the fierce rivals will be facing each other at the ballot box.

Both Ravalomanana, 68, and Rajoelina, 44, were banned from running in the last election in 2013 under international pressure. The decision was based on avoiding the repeat of deadly political violence that caused chaos in the island in 2009.

Ravalomanana was president from 2002 to 2009, until he was removed by a military-backed coup that placed in Rajoelina, who was in power until 2014.

During a court application, Judge Rakotoarisoa cautioned the two hopefuls to “avoid provocations” as they see themselves going into the final stretch of the election in a country, that has a past of political violence.

“The people of Madagascar do not need trouble,” he said.

Photo credit- Al Jazeera

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