Madagascar leader sees parliament win amid fraud complaints

Presidential candidate Andry Rajoelina casts his ballot during the presidential election in Madagascar [Gianluigi Guercia-AFP-Getty Images]

Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina said on Wednesday that he believed his party and allies were on course for a majority in the country’s new parliament, but the opposition alleged that “anomalies” had been detected in the vote.

The election commission is counting votes from the election, which took place on Monday, with provisional results expected on June 15.

“Today, according to the trends at the independent election commission, our group of parties are ahead and on track for a majority, even if it isn’t official,” Rajoelina told reporters to Paris.

“We will wait for the final results of course,” he added after talks with French President Emmanuel Macron.

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The parliamentary election is seen as the latest round of a bitter feud between Rajoelina and his longstanding rival Marc Ravalomanana and his TIM (“I Love Madagascar”) party.

The two men have dominated the country’s politics since the early 2000s, sometimes cooperating but mostly fighting for advantage and high office.

“We have seen a lot of anomalies in all of the provinces and we are preparing our appeals,” Olga Ramalason, a senator from TIM, told reporters in the capital Antananarivo on Wednesday.

An election observer mission from the Southern African Development Community has praised the peaceful conditions maintained for the election.

The former French colony is well known for its vanilla and precious redwood, yet is one of the world’s poorest nations, according to World Bank data, with 76 percent of people living in extreme poverty.

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The island has a long history of coups and unrest.

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