Former president alleges fraud in Madagascar vote
Former Madagascan president Hery Rajaonarimampianina on Thursday alleged that "many voting irregularities" pointed to fraud in this week's election, heightening fears of a disputed result as counting continued.
Early counting from a small number of polling stations put Rajaonarimampianina in a distant third place behind leading contenders Andry Rajoelina and Marc Ravalomanana, both also former presidents of the Indian Ocean island.
"Many voting irregularities and technical anomalies have been detected including an invalid electoral register intimidation and the presence of pre-ticked ballots," said Rajaonarimampianina, who ruled from 2014 to September 2018. "All indications are that the votes of the Madagascan people have been stolen," he added in a statement issued the day after the vote. "We will not let the people be robbed of their vote," he warned.
With only 291 of the 24,852 polling stations counted by Thursday afternoon, Rajaonarimampianina had obtained 3.29 % of the votes counted so far. Rajoelina had 45.07 and Marc Ravalomanana was on 40.3 %, according to official figures.
Thirty-six candidates ran in the election, which is considered an acid test of the democratic credentials of the impoverished island that has a history of coups and instability.