Madagascar's Rajoelina Takes Early Lead in Presidential Vote

(Bloomberg) -- Former Malagasy President Andry Rajoelina took an early lead in a runoff election as counting of ballots got under way.

Rajoelina, who ruled the Indian Ocean island nation for five years until 2014, has 57.8 percent of the vote with results from 5.5 percent of voting centers counted, the electoral commission said Thursday on its website. Marc Ravalomanana, another former president, received 42.2 percent, it said.

The runoff was held Wednesday after none of the 36 candidates who competed in the first vote on Nov. 7 won more than 50 percent of the vote. A provisional result is expected to be announced by Dec. 29, Midi Madagasikara, an Antananarivo-based newspaper, said on its website.

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