By Lovasoa Rabary
ANTANANARIVO (Reuters) – A former president of Madagascar and the man who overthrew him in a coup will compete to become the island state’s next leader in December, after coming top in a first-round vote that knocked out the incumbent.
Former president Marc Ravalomanana got 35.35 percent of the vote in the November first round, behind his successor, Andry Rajoelina, who got 39.23 percent, the High Constitutional Court said on Wednesday.
Current president Hery Rajaonarimampianina got just 8.82 percent, the court said, and will not take part in the second round, due on Dec. 19. The court rejected his request to have the election cancelled.
Madagascar is hoping for the second peaceful election since upheaval in 2009 when Ravalomanana was forced out of office by protests led by Rajoelina in what the African Union and other international organisations said was a coup.
The court said total voter turnout was 53.95 percent of the registered voters.
(Reporting by Lovasoa Rabary; Writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Andrew Heavens)