Madagascar Faces Third Day of Protests Over Election Result

(Bloomberg) -- Madagascar braced for a third day of protests Thursday as supporters of Marc Ravalomanana, the runner up in last month’s presidential election, picketed in the capital, Antananarivo, amid claims of electoral fraud.

Police on Wednesday fired teargas to disperse protesters who breached a security cordon in Antananarivo, L’Express de Madagascar reported. The protesters also blocked roads with burning tires, according to the newspaper.

Ravalomanana garnered 44 percent of votes in the Dec. 19 runoff vote against Andry Rajoelina, who secured 56 percent, according to the electoral commission. Ravalomanana is challenging the outcome in a petition filed with the Constitutional Court. The country’s highest court will announce its decision and declare the final result on Jan. 8, according to a statement handed to reporters Thursday.

Millionaire businessman Ravalomanana led the Indian Ocean nation, the world’s biggest producer of vanilla, from 2002 to 2009 before being overthrown in a coup by Rajoelina, a former nightclub DJ and ex-mayor of Antananarivo.

Both men were banned from contesting the 2013 election as part of an international agreement to end the country’s political crisis.

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