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October 25, 2013

Madagascar Holds Presidential Election

by VOA News

Counting has started on Madagascar, where voters went to the polls to choose their first president since a 2009 coup.

Thirty three candidates are seeking the presidency. Election observers predict that no one will get enough votes, however, to avoid a December runoff. Final results are expected in the coming days.

Foreign election monitors say Friday's voting generally was peaceful with no major problems. Some voters complained of long lines.


Madagascar is struggling to recover from the coup that plunged the African island nation into an economic crisis.

Current leader Andry Rajoelina seized power from President Marc Ravalomanana with the help of the military in 2009. Both were barred from running in the presidential election.

Madagascar is one of the world's poorest countries. The World Bank says 92 percent of its citizens live below the poverty level. The political chaos over the past four years drove away tourists, investors, and foreign aid.