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Madagascar Holds Presidential Election

Madagascar Holds Crucial Presidential Votei
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October 25, 2013 8:04 AM
Polls have opened as Madagascar holds a long-delayed presidential election, a step seen as crucial to restoring democratic rule following a 2009 coup.

Madagascar Holds Crucial Presidential Vote

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.


  • People stand in line to vote at a polling station during elections in Antananarivo, Madagascar, Oct. 25, 2013.
  • A woman walks off after she voted at a polling station in Antananarivo, Madagascar, Oct. 25, 2013.
  • Madagascar's President Andry Rajoelina casts his ballot at a polling center in Ambatobe, in the outskirts of the capital Antananarivo, Madagascar, Oct. 25, 2013.
  • A woman casts her ballot during elections in Antananarivo, Madagascar, Oct. 25, 2013.
  • Å woman's finger is marked with ink after she cast her ballot in Antananarivo, Madagascar, Oct. 25, 2013.
  • A soldier looks at his telephone as he and others provide security outside a polling station in Antananarivo, Madagascar, Oct. 25, 2013.
  • A man walks past campaign posters outside a polling center in Antananarivo, Madagascar, Oct. 25, 2013.
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.

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