Madagascar’s national electoral commission says preliminary results show Jean Louis Robinson is leading the 33-candidate race with 29 percent of the votes counted. The election body on its website says results are from 1,255 of the 20,001 polling stations.
To win in the first round, a candidate must get more than 50 percent of the votes. A second run-off election between the top two candidates is scheduled for Dec. 20.
Regional and international observers on Sunday endorsed Madagascar’s first post-coup voting on Friday. The European Union described the polling as peaceful and transparent.
The election is hoped to end years of political crisis after outgoing President Andry Rajoelina, with backing from the military, seized power from former President Marc Ravalomanana in 2009.