President's candidate poised to win Madagascar run-off vote
ANTANANARIVO (REUTERS) - The candidate backed by Madagascar's coup-leader President Andry Rajoelina held on Wednesday an apparently unassailable lead in the island's run-off vote, which his rival's camp has said was rigged.
Former Finance Minister Hery Rajaonarimampianina has won more than 53 per cent of the Dec 20 vote with ballots counted in more than 99 per cent of polling stations, provisional results showed.
The election, the first since former disc jockey Rajoelina ousted then President Marc Ravalomanana in 2009 with the help of renegade troops, is meant to end a crisis that has driven out investors, cut aid flows and sharply slowed the economy.
But a disputed result could prolong the malaise on the politically volatile Indian Ocean island and delay restoring the external budget support needed to drive public spending higher and boost anaemic growth.