Madagascar goes to the polls to pick next president
Madagascar votes on Wednesday for a new president in unprecedented polls in which the three front-runners are former heads of state facing-off amid efforts to defuse a political crisis.
Attempts by the most recent president, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, to change the large Indian Ocean island’s electoral laws backfired, sparking nearly three months of sometimes violent protests in the capital Antananarivo.
The demonstrators forced Rajaonarimampianina to accept a “consensus” government tasked with organising the election in the poor country with a history of coups and unrest.
Nearly 10 million voters are eligible to cast ballots for one of 36 candidates who, as well as the three front-runners, include two ex-prime ministers, pastors and a rock star. Polling stations open at 0300 GMT and are due to close by 1400 GMT.