Madagascar votes in runoff election

Ten million voters are registered in Madagascar, which is ranked one of the world's poorest nations.
Ten million voters are registered in Madagascar, which is ranked one of the world's poorest nations.

Voters have begun casting their ballots across Madagascar to select a new president in a runoff election that pits two former leaders against each other.

Andry Rajoelina, 44, president from 2009 to 2014, received 39 per cent of the vote in the first round in November, while Marc Ravalomanana, president from 2002 to 2009, got 35 per cent.

They face off for the first time since political turmoil in 2009 forced Ravalomanana from power.

Both have said they will accept the runoff's results.

Ten million voters are registered in Madagascar, which the World Bank ranks as one of the world's poorest nations, although rich in ecological diversity.

More than two-thirds of the population of 25 million live in extreme poverty, while corruption is reportedly widespread.

Australian Associated Press