President wins election

President wins election

ANTANANARIVO – President Marc Ravalamanana won re-election in Madagascar with 54,8 per cent, giving him a comfortable first-round victory in the national vote, the Interior Ministry said Sunday.

Ravalamanana, a dairy tycoon known as the “Milkman,” needed 50 per cent to avoid a second-round runoff. The final results from the December 3 poll gave his nearest rival, former National Assembly head Lahiniriko Jean, just 11,7 per cent.Turnout across the country was 61,5 per cent, according to the ministry.The results still must be verified by the Constitutional High Court, which is expected early next week.Presidential aides have said they hoped the inauguration would take place early January.The world’s fourth-largest island and its largest vanilla producer, Madagascar is mired in poverty, with 70 per cent of the island’s 17 million people living on less than US$1 a day.Madagascar is well known for its rare wildlife and ecotourism – but also for its history of political unrest and infighting.In the December 2001 elections, fighting broke out after former President Didier Ratsiraka refused to accept defeat by Ravalomanana.Nampa-APThe final results from the December 3 poll gave his nearest rival, former National Assembly head Lahiniriko Jean, just 11,7 per cent.Turnout across the country was 61,5 per cent, according to the ministry.The results still must be verified by the Constitutional High Court, which is expected early next week.Presidential aides have said they hoped the inauguration would take place early January.The world’s fourth-largest island and its largest vanilla producer, Madagascar is mired in poverty, with 70 per cent of the island’s 17 million people living on less than US$1 a day.Madagascar is well known for its rare wildlife and ecotourism – but also for its history of political unrest and infighting.In the December 2001 elections, fighting broke out after former President Didier Ratsiraka refused to accept defeat by Ravalomanana.Nampa-AP

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