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Dirco congratulates Madagascar on successful elections

The department was holding a press briefing in Johannesburg on Sunday to address issues affecting Mozambique, Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu briefed the media on 13 January 2019 on the recent international developments, including the recent DRC elections, UN Security Council agenda and upcoming international engagements for South Africa. Picture: @DIRCO_ZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) has congratulated Madagascar on its successful elections.

The department was holding a press briefing in Johannesburg on Sunday to address issues affecting Mozambique, Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It says despite early tensions between president-elect Andry Rajoelina and his rival, Marc Ravalomanana, in December last year, the interventions in the country helped create a peaceful electoral period.

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said: “We have found that the situation is stable and the people of Madagascar seem to have accepted the results. And they are happy with the input that South Africa has contributed to the situation in Madagascar and we would like to congratulate the people and president Rajoelina.”

Last Tuesday, Madagascar’s top court proclaimed Rajoelina the winner of a hard-fought presidential vote, rejecting his rival’s accusations of fraud.

High Constitutional Court chairman Jean Eric Rakotoarisoa ratified results given by the Indian Ocean island’s electoral board last month saying Rajoelina won 55.66% of votes versus 44.34% for Ravalomanana.

Rajoelina, a 44-year-old businessman, had ousted Ravalomanana, a 69-year-old known as “the milkman” for his ownership of a dairy conglomerate, in a 2009 coup.

But both men said this time they would accept the outcome of the vote. However, after a 19 December runoff, Ravalomanana’s team asked the court to nullify the results and submitted more than 200 complaints about balloting and vote counting.

Additional reporting by Reuters.