Former presidents Andry Rajoelina and Marc Ravalomanana won most votes in Madagascar’s presidential election according to provisional results issued on Saturday that pointed to a likely second round.
Rajoelina led with 39.19% of the vote followed by Ravalomanana with 35.29%. Incumbent President Hery Rajaonarimampianina, seeking a second term in office, was a distant third with about nine percent.
A total of 36 candidates ran for president. Turnout was 54.23%, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said.
Final results will be announced in nine days by the constitutional court and if no candidate has a majority the top two will compete in a second round on December 19.
Voters want a leader to tackle the impoverished Indian Ocean island’s many problems including unemployment and corruption.
Madagascar is hoping for a second peaceful election since upheaval in 2009 when Ravalomanana was forced out by protests led by Rajoelina in what international organisations said was a coup.