Madagascar's electoral court ruled on Friday that ex-finance minister Hery Rajaonarimampianina was properly elected president despite allegations that the election was rigged. The court ruled [Reuters report] that Rajaonarimampianina won 53.5 percent of the vote while his opponent Jean Louis Robinson, former health minister, won 46.5 percent. Controversy has surrounded the election and continues to be disputed. Observers of the election claim it was run fairly [BBC report]. However, the Robinson campaign has challenged the results since they were first announced. Robinson was supported by former president Marc Ravalomanana who was ousted in a coup in 2009. Only about half of Madagascar citizens voted in the run-off election. Tourism has reportedly dropped 50 percent since the election controversy began.
Madagascar's elections followed a tumultuous period for the country. In August, the same electoral court removed [JURIST report] several candidates from the ballot. Last August South African prosecutors told reporters that they were investigating former president Ravalomanana [JURIST report] for possible crimes against humanity. In April 2012 Madagascar passed [JURIST report] a law granting amnesty to those who committed crimes during the political unrest in the country over the last three years, but excluded human rights violations for which former Marc Ravalomanana was convicted. In November 2010 voters in Madagascar approved [JURIST report] a new constitution that lowered the minimum age requirement for presidential candidates.