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AU commends Madagascar elections

The continental body urged Malagasy to accept the outcome and embark on reconciliation.

African Union head of Observation team to Madagascar election Ibrahima Fall (L) and Mediator Joaquim Chissano (R) at the press conference declaring Friday's poll free and fair. Picture: Jean-Jacques Cornish/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The African Union has commended the people of Madagascar for their lively but peaceful election on Friday.

The continental body has urged Malagasy to accept the outcome and then embark on a process of reconciliation to overcome the rift caused by the coup four years ago.

African Union mediator, former Mozambique president Joaquim Chissano was undoubtedly the star of the show although he and the assembled Malagasy politicians, international diplomats and the media were kept waiting for 45 minutes by AU observer mission head Ibrahima Fall.

According to his spokesman, the Senegalese academic was going over his lines.

The AU endorsement of the elections follows those of the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy, the Carter Center, SADC, the Francophonie, the European Union and the Indian Ocean Rim countries.

All made the point that the success of the democratic exercise on Madagascar depends on the loser accepting defeat.