Madagascar presidential runoff ends peacefully   2013-12-21 15:41:02            

ANTANANARIVO, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- Madagascar's presidential election runoff, coupled with legislative votes, ended here Friday evening without major incidents reported.

"The elections took place queitly and peacefully. Malagasy people voted in an orderly manner," former Mauritian President Cassam Uteem, who led the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa, said on Friday after visiting polling stations in the capital.

No major incidents were reported and the voters came to do their duty in serenity, he added.

African Union and EU observers also expressed their satisfaction with the elections process.

Prime Minister Omer Beriziky urged all Malagasy people to wait calmly and accept the results of the election.

Madagascar's transitional President Andry Rajoelina said Friday that he will respect the results of the runoff and is ready to transfer power to the newly elected president, after he finished voting at a polling station in Antananarivo.

Politics professor Lalallang Zakariasy told Xinhua that a new president will soon emerge out of the two candidates Jean Louis Robinson and Hery Rajaonarimampianina, but people should continue to observe the situation afterward, such as the loser's reaction because unity of the government will be very important for the future of Madagascar.

About 5,000 national observers and 800 international observers monitored the presidential and legislative elections, according to the Independent National Election Commission (CENIT) officials.

Five helicopters will collect ballots from 186 polling stations located in remote areas. The CENIT is expected to announce provisional results on Jan. 7, 2014.

Madagascar was plunged into a political crisis in late 2008. In March 2009, Andry Rajoelina replaced Marc Ravalomanana with the backing of the military. The takeover was seen as a coup by the international community.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) initiated a roadmap for the elections to restore democracy and constitutional rule in the country.

Editor: Mengjie
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