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Madagascar: Former president denies bribery claims


Presidential hopefuls in Madagascar have denied allegations by European Union observers that they bribed local officials.

Race frontrunner Andry Rajoelina is one of the hopefuls who has vehemently denied an EU observer mission report published on Monday that notes candidates committed breaches ahead of the November 7 poll.

Rajoelina is accused of paying a total of 5,000 US dollars to two local chiefs. The former president has however insisted he never offered such a sum of cash.

According to preliminary results released by the electoral commission on Monday, Rajoelina leads the election battle ahead of his rival Marc Ravalomanana.

To secure an outright victory in the presidential election, a candidate needs to secure an absolute majority in the first round.

A run-off vote has been scheduled for December 19, in case none of the candidates secures a first round win.

Politics in the island nation, a former French colony, have long been marred by coups and unrest, with citizens rarely experiencing a peaceful transfer of power.


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