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Madagascar presidential election: voters hope for end to political turmoil

Madagascar presidential election: voters hope for end to political turmoil
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Madagascar is holding its first presidential election since outgoing leader Andry Rajoelina came to power in 2009 in a military-backed takeover.

Since then, the country has been increasingly isolated by the international community: cut off from foreign aid; failing to attract investors; and struggling to lure back tourists.

Roland Razafi, a voter in the capital Antananarivo, said: “The crisis has lasted too long, that’s enough. By now we should have had an elected president.”

Despite being rich in reserves of natural resources, Madagascar is steeped in poverty. More than 90 percent of the population live on less than 1.50 euro per day, according to the World Bank.

A total of 33 candidates are standing in the election. Polls ahead of the vote suggested that there was no clear favourite, making a run-off in December likely.