ANTANANARIVO (Xinhua) – Madagascar’s High Constitutional Court has upheld the victory of Andry Rajoelina in the second round of a hard-fought presidential vote last month, rejecting his rival’s accusations of fraud.
High Constitutional Court chairman Jean Eric Rakotoarisoa ratified results given by the Indian Ocean island’s electoral board last month saying Mr Rajoelina won 55.66 percent of votes versus 44.34 percent for Marc Ravalomanana.
“We declare that Mr Andry Nirina Rajoelina is elected President of the Republic. He will take office immediately after his inauguration ceremony organised by the High Constitutional Court,” he said while announcing the final results.
“The victory is not only mine. It is also the victory of Malagasy people,” Mr Rajoelina, a 44-year-old businessman, told jubilant supporters at his party’s headquarters.
He had ousted Ravalomanana, 69, who is known as “the milkman” for his ownership of a dairy business, in a 2009 coup.
Both men said this time they would accept the outcome of the vote. However, after a Dec. 19 runoff, Mr Ravalomanana’s team asked the court to nullify the results and submitted more than 200 complaints about balloting and vote counting.
European Union observers said the election was calm and they did not witness any fraud.
Both men were in court for Tuesday’s ruling.
Madagascar is one of Africa’s poorest nations, with about 80 percent of its 25 million people living on less than $2 per day.
It is pinning hopes for development on mining and tourism.