|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)
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ANTANANARIVO, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- Madagascar's transitional president Andry Rajoelina on Friday said he was ready to respect the results of the polls and transfer power to the new elected president.
"I am ready to respect the results of the polls and make the transfer of power to the new elected head of state," Rajoelina told a press briefing after voting in the agricultural high school of Ambatobe in the capital Antananarivo.
"I already said in the first round that I am ready to make a transfer of power in the rules of art. When the people choose, we must accept the verdict of the polls. That's the democracy, to respect the choice of voters who give full power to a candidate to lead the country," he added.
He reassured that it is difficult and even impossible to manipulate the election results and reverse the people's choice.
Rajoelina, whose candidacy was rejected by the Special Electoral Court (CES), invited the Malagasy citizens to vote overwhelmingly Friday to choose the first president of the fourth Republic of Madagascar to return to constitutional order.
More than 7.9 million voters were registered for the elections at the 20,001 polling stations across the Indian Ocean island country. The vote was set to open at 6 a.m. local time (0300 GMT) to choose the president for the next five years and deputies of the National Assembly (parliament).
The electoral commission CENIT plans to publish the provisional results of presidential elections by Jan. 7.
Madagascar was plunged into a political crisis in late 2008. In March 2009, Rajoelina replaced ex-president 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.
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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