ANTANANARIVO, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- More than 7.9 million voters in Madagascar went to the polls on Friday to elect their future president. The following is the background information of the two candidates Jean Louis Robinson and Hery Rajaonarimampianina.
Robinson, 61, a doctor, graduated in France and appointed minister of health from 2002 to 2009.
Absent of political scene since 2009, Robinson has created his own political party "Ny vahoaka aloha no andrianina" (AVANA), or the people first, and become the party's presidential candidate.
Former president Marc Ravalomanana's camp decided to support him after the electoral court cancelled Ravalomanana's wife Lalao Ravalomanana from the presidential race.
Robinson vowed to bring back the former president from exile in South Africa and appoint Lalao as his Prime minister. He plans to continue the Madagascar Action Plan created by Ravalomanana if elected.
Taking the lead during the first round held on Oct. 25 with 21. 16 percent, Robinson get the support of loosing candidates of the first round including Camille Vital, who won 6.85 percent, Sarah Rabeharisoa who had 4.52 percent, Ratrema William who had 2.12 percent, Sylvain Rabetsaroana who get 1.28 percent, Lahiniriko Jean who won 0.88 percent, Rajemison Rakotomaharo who had 0.86 percent, Noelson William who get 0.31 percent, Ratrimoarivony Guy who had 0.24 percent and Tinasoa Freddy who won 0.21 percent.
Robinson is estimated to gather 21.75 percent from these candidates.
Robinson vowed not to discriminate his rivals when elected president to preserve the national reconciliation. He also promised to establish a department of opposition to let the opposition bring their opinion in the government.
In election campaigns, Robinson promised to fight against corruption, to establish press freedom and independence of justice, restore security in the country, to give food to his compatriots and to restore school canteen.
For the problem of power shortage, which is suffering almost all territory of Madagascar, Robinson voiced plans to look for other sources of energy and improve the management of the state- owned company Jirama, which monopolizes the distribution of electricity and water in the country.
Robinson's offer also includes the restoration of trust from international donors, the alleviation of tax, the promotion of tourism sector, improvement of incomes.
"I will apply south-south cooperation and north-south cooperation with the decentralization of aid for achieving development. Madagascar is a friend to all and enemy of nobody," Robinson said during a TV debate.
Rajaonarimampianina, 55, is a chartered accountant from Canada. He was appointed minister of finance and budget by President of Transition Andry Rajoelina in 2009. He remained in position until becoming candidate to the presidential election.
He was appointed chairman of board of directors of Air Madagascar in 2011. He is supported by the president of transition.
He said he will bring a new force to Madagascar when elected president.
The candidate came the second in the first round with 15.85 percent of the tally.
According to local media, he has the support of Rolland Ratsiraka who won 9.00 percent, Rajaonarivelo Pierrot who had 2.68 percent, Randriamampionona Joseph Martin who get 2.33 percent, Voninahitsy Jean Eugene who had 2.14 percent, Razafimananazato Julien who won 1.6 percent, Faharo Ratsimbalson who get 0.54 percent, Raharimanana Venance Patrick who had 0.44 percent and Rakoto Jean Pierre who won 0.22 percent.
Rajaonarimampianina is expected to collect 18.95 percent from his alliance.
His priorities include national solidarity and reconciliation if elected.
Rajaonarimampianina says his fight is not against a person, but against the hunger. "It is time to concentrate to the development of Madagascar," he said during a TV debate.
He vows to fight against corruption, establish press freedom and independence of justice and restore security in the country.
Economist, Rajaonarimampianina has promised proudly that he will maintain the subsidy of fuel price to prevent inflation. "I will look for other way to enable my regime have enough money to pay the subsidy to oils price."
Rajaonarimampianina looks to investors for renewable energy by alleviating their tax.
He promised safety of investment in Madagascar, security of businessmen and their goods, security in tax payment, security in customs and other incentives.
He pledged jobs in agriculture to boost the economy.
His tourism target is 500,000 arrivals in two years of office. He plans to boost rural infrastructure to ensure agricultural production and food security. He also offered to set up the free primary school and to create the mobile hospital for remote zones.