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Madagascar sees political battle royal on Wednesday

Marc Ravalomanana, the former president who spent most of his five years of exile in South Africa, vows to have his revenge against Andry Rajoelina.

This combination of file pictures created on 17 November 2018, shows former presidents of Madagascar and main candidates in the country's 2018 presidential election, Marc Ravalomanana (L) in Antananarivo on August 25, 2018, Andry Rajoelina (R) in Paris on 1 February 2018. Picture: AFP

PRETORIA - Madagascar sees a political battle royal on Wednesday as a milkman-turned-yoghurt king battles for the Presidency against the former disc jockey who unseated him in a coup nine years ago.

Marc Ravalomanana, the 69-year-old former president who spent most of his five years of exile in South Africa, vows to have his revenge against 44-year-old Andry Rajoelina.

Ravalomanana, who beat all political odds to win Madagascar’s Presidency in 2002 and retain in four years later, still battles with a reputation for autocracy.

Rajoelina, the coup leader, must assuage fears that his big money backing is not from those seeking to rape the island state’s natural resources.

Whoever wins will have his work cut out restoring stability to a country brought to its knees by political turmoil.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)