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First televised presidential debate in Madagascar


The two finalists in Madagascar’s presidential run-off elections took to state television on Sunday evening for a debate ahead of Wednesday’s vote.

It is a first for this Island nation between Marc Ravalomanana and Andry Rajoelina.

At the opening of the debate, the latter accused his opponent of having seized power in 2009 in favor of a “coup” .

“You were the leader of the coup movement in 2009. Because of this, the Malagasy people have been trapped in the circle of poverty,” the former head of state said.

Ravalomanana retorted saying “you live too much in the past, what we expect from us is what we can bring to the people today”, he said.

Ravalomanana, who was elected in 2002 was forced to leave the presidency of the Island nation seven years later after a series of violent protests supported by Rajoelina, who was then mayor of Antananarivo. Rajoelina was then installed as the head of a non-elected presidency by the army.

“I do not work for myself, to enrich myself, but I will work and will do everything to make Madagascar a developed country”, Ravalomanana said.

‘‘The international financial aid was 60% under the presidency of Ravalomanana, but in the transition of his presidency there was none. “But I could do it, we could do it, we can run the country without any financial help from abroad”, Rajoelina said.

Rajoelina, 44, won the first round of polls on November 7 with 39.23% of the vote, just ahead of Ravalomanana, 69 with 35.35%.

The second round of votes will be held on Wednesday, December 19.


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