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First televised presidential debate in Madagascar


<p>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.</p> <p>It is a first for this Island nation between Marc Ravalomanana and Andry Rajoelina.</p> <p>At the opening of the debate, the latter accused his opponent of having seized power in 2009 in favor of a “coup” . </p> <p>“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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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. </p> <p>“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.</p> <p>‘‘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.</p> <p>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%. </p> <p>The second round of votes will be held on Wednesday, December 19.</p> <p><strong><span class="caps">AFP</span></strong></p>
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