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Rajoelina, Ravalomanana Lead Madagascar Presidential Race

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Rajoelina, Ravalomanana Lead Madagascar Presidential Race

Madagascar’s former presidents Andry Rajoelina and Marc Ravalomanana were neck-and-neck in the country’s presidential race according to partial results published by the electoral commission on Thursday.

Rajoelina won 43.5% of votes cast in Wednesday’s vote, while Ravalomanana secured 42.44%, according to results from 147 polling stations out of 24 852 nationwide.

The country’s most recent president Hery Rajaonarimampianina trailed with 2.93% of the votes counted so far.

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The Ceni electoral commission estimated turnout at 47.18%.

Following the vote, Rajoelina and Ravalomanana both told their supporters they were confident of victory.

Rajaonarimampianina has yet to comment.

Bitter rivals

A candidate must reach 50% to win outright, otherwise a second round will be held on December 19.

Thirty-six candidates ran in the election, which is considered an acid test of the democratic credentials of the large Indian Ocean island nation which has a history of coups and instability.

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The key battle was expected to be between Rajaonarimampianina, 60, Ravalomanana, 68, and Rajoelina, 44, according to analysts and the findings of a banned pre-vote poll seen by AFP.

Ravalomanana and Rajoelina are bitter rivals and it is the first time they have faced each other at the polls.

Ravalomanana ruled from 2002 to 2009 until he was ousted in a military-backed coup, followed by Rajoelina who was in power until 2014, and then Rajaonarimampianina until earlier this year.

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Both Ravalomanana and Rajoelina were banned from contesting the last elections in 2013 under international pressure to avoid a repeat of political violence that engulfed the island in 2009.

Campaigning for Wednesday’s polls passed off without incident and voting was peaceful, according to officials.

African News

African Summit Gives Sudan Military Three Months To Implement Reforms

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African Summit Gives Sudan Military Three Months To Implement Reforms

African leaders have agreed, at a meeting in Cairo on Tuesday, to give Sudan’s ruling military council three months to implement democratic reforms, and a quick restoration of the constitutional system through a political process, amid pressure for a handover of power to civilians.

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The decision extends a 15-day deadline set by the African Union last week for Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) to hand over power or be suspended from the A.U. TMC took over after president Omar Al-Bashir was ousted earlier this month.

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The TMC has been under pressure from demonstrators to hand power to civilians immediately.

Egypt`s Abdul Fatah Al Sisi, who holds the rotating African Union presidency, said at the end of the summit in Cairo, they have agreed on the need to give more time to Sudanese authorities and Sudanese parties to implement required measures.

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African News

Mozambican Authorities Warn Of A Possible Tropical Storm Hit

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Mozambican Authorities Warn Of A Possible Tropical Storm Hit

Mozambican authorities have warned of a tropical storm that could hit the country this week, just one month after cyclone Idai ravaged the nation. The next organized tropical cyclone, to be named Kenneth could also affect Tanzania.

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The National Institute for Disaster Management’s spokesman, Paulo Tomás says, they will keep abreast of the evolution of the weather system.

Last month, cyclone Idai killed at least 960 people in parts of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, leaving some 3 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

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Egypt Voters Approve Referendum Extending President’s Rule

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Egypt Voters Approve Referendum Extending President's Rule

Egypt’s election commission has announced, 88% of voters had approved changes to the constitution that could allow president Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi stay in power until 2030. The amendments would also give the president new powers over the judiciary.

The commission says, voter turnout during the three-day referendum was nearly 44 and a half percent and almost 90 percent approved the amendments while 11.17 percent voted no.

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The amendments will extend Sisi’s current term to six years from four and allow him to run again for a third six-year term in 2024 and to appoint one or more vice presidents.

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His critics questioned the credibility of the turnout figure announced and are asking how can a constitution be changed to fit one person.

Sisi’s supporters say he has stabilized Egypt and needs more time to reform and develop the economy.

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After the announcement was made, Al-Sisi sent the message quote “I am your god.”

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