By Laperozy Eric and He Xianfeng
ANTANANARIVO, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- Hery Rajaonarimampianina was elected president of Madagascar, the Indian Ocean island country's Special Electoral Court (CES) announced here Friday.
"I declare that Hery Rajaonarimampinaina was elected president of the Republic of Madagascar," CES President Rakotozafy Francois said at a ceremony attended by chiefs of institutions, government officials, diplomatic corps and Rajaonarimampianina.
The CES president said Rajaonarimampianina won 53.49 percent of the votes during the Dec. 20 presidential run-off election while his rival Jean Louis Robinson had 46.51 percent of votes.
Out of the 7,971,790 voters recorded in the electoral roll, 4, 043,246 went to the polls, a turnout of 50.72 percent, Francois said .
Just after the ceremony at the yard of the CES, the president of the Independent National Election Commission (CENIT), Atallah Beatrice, congratulated the newly elected president and the Malagasy people for holding the long-anticipated polls peacefully.
"The president of the fourth republic is elected. This is the victory of all Malagasy people, the victory of the democracy," Rajaonarimampianina told Xinhua right after the ceremony.
"I thank all Malagasy people from the bottom of my heart for showing wisdom and willingness in all elections," Rajaonarimampianina added.
"I will be the president of all Malagasy people without distinction. I ask for your help to restore Madagascar. We will work. I am confident that we will restore Madagascar in appeasement and solidarity," he said.
"The CES declared that there was no massive fraud. They judged impartially when they released the results of the election. They respected the choice of the people. I call everyone to respect the CES's decision," he said in vindication of his victory.
Robinson, the losing candidate, did not accept the results announced by the CES, saying the latter "rejected all our requests and issued in a hurry the results." Robinson did not attend the ceremony, but held a press conference Friday afternoon to voice his position.
Robinson demanded the cancellation of the CES and the creation of a new CES to compute again all results from the CENIT.
He said he will not let supporters go to the streets in protest, but remain in their meeting area to ask loudly for their rights. However, the international community judged the election peaceful and recognized the results.
"I congratulate the newly elected President of Madagascar. I welcome this very important step in the transition with the official proclamation by the CES. This is a very important step in this process of transition," the EU representative to Madagascar, Leonidas Tezapsydis, told Xinhua in an interview.
Tezapsydis added there are also other steps, including the establishment of the National Assembly (parliament), the appointment of the prime minister and the formation of the government.
"Madagascar will restore its place in the international community and return to constitutional order after these steps," Tezapsydis said.
"These steps mean also the normalization of Madagascar's relationships with the European Union. But we are here to assist in this process as we do until now," the EU official said.
The president of the High Constitutional Court (HCC), Rajaonarivony Jean Michel, told Xinhua that the next step is the investiture of the president-elect before the parliament, the government and the Supreme Court in conforming to the Constitution.
Michel said the investiture of the new president should not be delayed, though at least a week after the proclamation of the final results.
Rajaonarimampianina, 55, will lead the country for five years according to the Constitution. He will be the first president of the fourth republic of Madagascar and the eighth elected Malagasy president and 11th chief of state since the country's independence in 1960.
He used to be an economist before being a chartered accountant graduated from Canada. He became minister of finance and budget of the transitional regime from 2009 to 2013.
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.
Despite talks and agreements on a solution, politicians in the country failed to iron out their differences over power sharing, until the Southern African Development Community initiated a roadmap to elections to end the crisis and restore democracy and constitutional rule in its member state.