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 the two came top in a first-round vote that knocked out the incumbent. Former President Marc Ravalomanana received 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 received just 8.82 percent, the court said, and will not take part in the second round. The court rejected his request to have the election cancelled. The runoff vote is set for December 19.
It is the first time the bitter rivals have faced each other at the ballot box.
Both Ravalomanana, 68, and Rajoelina, 44, were banned from running in the last election in 2013 under international pressure to avoid a repeat of deadly political violence that engulfed the island in 2009.
Ravalomanana ruled from 2002 to 2009, until he was overthrown in a military-backed coup that installed Rajoelina, who was in power until 2014.
The court said total voter turnout was 53.95 percent of the registered voters.