Madagascar’s electoral commission announced provisional results in the runoff presidential election, saying Andry Rajoelina received more than 55 percent of the vote while Marc Ravalomanana received more than 44 percent.
Madagascar’s High Constitutional Court has nine days from Thursday to decide whether to confirm the provisional results.
Just over 48 percent of voters cast their ballots in the Dec. 19 runoff between the candidates, both former heads of state and bitter rivals. Ravalomanana has denounced what he called “massive fraud” in the runoff and earlier this week urged supporters to “defend” their votes.
The two faced off for the first time since political turmoil in 2009 forced Ravalomanana from power.
The EU observer mission said the runoff election was calm. “We did not see any fraud,” Cristian Preda, head of the observation mission of the European Union, said last week. “Both accused each other of fraud, but neither of them had any proof. There are allegations not facts. We told them to bring this to justice.”
In the first round last month, Rajoelina received 39.23 percent of the vote compared to Ravalomanana’s 35.35 percent.