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Madagascar returns to normality after elections

Madagascar returns to normality after elections
Bystanders look on as electoral officials (unseen) count votes at a polling station in Antananarivo. 16/11/2023   -  
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MAMYRAEL/AFP or licensors


**Madagascar returned to normality on Friday, a day after the country's presidential elections. As the country awaits the expected announcement of Rajoelina's victory, people are getting on with daily life. **

In the capital Antananarivo, umbrellas bearing the picture of incumbent president Andrey Rajoelina had covered one of the city's busy streets in the days running up to Thursday's vote. On Friday, however, not one umbrella remained. 

Risse Nampona, a cigarette seller, has also folded up the orange parasol. "I'm not interested in being politically coloured," says the 22-year-old.

Is he afraid of a political crisis? "For us, it'll be the same as always: life is hard and things don't change," he says.

The country is one of the world's poorest despite its rich natural resources. Many struggle to survive and avoid getting involved in politics. 

With an abstention rate of around 60%, the highest "in the history of Madagascar", the opposition has already declared that it "does not recognise" the election and continues to call for the electoral process to be suspended. 

So far, Rajoelina has received over 70% of the vote, but the opposition has denounced electoral irregularities and a lack of impartiality.

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