A woman casts her vote at a polling station in Antananarivo, capital of Madagascar, on Dec. 20, 2013. Voters in Madagascar went to the polls on Friday to choose a new president, who is expected to lead them out of a five-year political crisis. (Xinhua/Li Jing)
ANTANANARIVO, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Malagasy people went to the polls Friday in a presidential runoff election, which is expected to end a five-year political crisis.
"There's no incident, in general all polling stations opened at six at scheduled. It was more smoothed than the first round," the president of the Independent National Election Commission (CENIT), Attallah Beatrice, told Xinhua at a polling station in Lycee technique Alarobia in Antananarivo.
The UN representative to Madagascar, Fatma Samoura, told Xinhua at the public college of Tsimbazaza in Antananarivo that "everything is held as just planned."
For fear of the rainy season, Fatma urged voters to go the polling stations in the morning while asking them to use legal means if they want to protest.
The two candidates fielded in the election also voted on Friday morning in the capital Antananarivo. Hery Rajaonarimampianina cast his ballot at the public college of Tsimbazaza, while Jean Louis Robinson in his turn went to the primary public school of Ambohimiandra.
The president of transition, Andry Rajoelina, who supports Rajaonarimampianina, voted at the public agricultural school of Ambatobe. Lalao Ravalomanana, the wife of exiled former president Marc Ravalomanana, voted at the public school Jules Ferry Faravohitra in Antananarivo.
More than 7.9 million registered voters are choosing their president between Robinson and Rajaonarimampianina.
Mme Saholy, a voter of Lycee technique alarobia, told Xinhua that she wishes that the future president would bring a good living condition for all Malagasy people and peace to the Indian Ocean island country.
On Friday, parliamentary elections are also held in line with with the presidential runoff.
To win the presidential election, the two candidates have tried their best to get support from 31 other candidates failing in the first round of polls held on Oct. 25.
Robinson, who scored 21.16 percent of support in the first round, claims to have the support of Camille Vital, who won 6.85 percent; Sarah Rabeharisoa, who had 4.52 percent; Ratrema William, who had 2. 12; Sylvain Rabetsaroana, who got 1.28 percent; Lahiniriko Jean, who won 0.88 percent; Rajemison Rakotomaharo, who had 0.86 percent; Noelson William, who got 0.31 percent; Ratrimoarivony Guy, who had 0.24 percent; and Tinasoa Freddy, who won 0.21 percent.
Rajaonarimampianina, who came the second in the first round with 15.85 percent of votes cast, boasts the collection of Rolland Ratsiraka, who won 9.00 percent; Rajaonarivelo Pierrot, who had 2. 68 percent; Randriamampionona Joseph Martin, who got 2.33 percent; Voninahitsy Jean Eugene, who had 2.14 percent; Razafimananazato Julien, who won 1.6 percent; Faharo Ratsimbalson, who got 0.54 percent; Raharimanana Venance Patrick, who had 0.44 percent; and Rakoto Jean Pierre, who won 0.22 percent.
Based on this calculation, Robinson could gather 21.75 percent from his alliance and Rajaonarimampianina could collect 18.95 percent from his alliance, according to some analysts. But political science expert Raharinosy Raharimanana told Xinhua that voters will not forcibly follow the choice of their leader.
Madagascar was plunged into a political crisis in late 2008. In March 2009, Rajoelina replaced Marc Ravalomanana with the backing of the military. The takeover was seen as a coup by the international community. The southern African bloc SADC designed a roadmap to the elections to restore democracy and constitutional rule in the country.
ANTANANARIVO, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- Madagascar Prime minister Omer Beriziky on Thursday called for a smooth election one day ahead of the vote in the Indian Ocean island country to end a crisis since late 2008.
Calling on his people to go to the polls on Friday, the prime minister said voters should "not accept disturbance from hecklers, but be courageous to vote freely in respecting the ancestral Malagasy cohesion and solidarity." Full story