EU sends 100 poll observers to Madagascar
18 September 2013, 08:20
Antananarivo - The European Union will post 100 election observers to upcoming presidential elections in Madagascar, an envoy said Tuesday.
Leonidas Tezapsidis, the EU ambassador to Antananarivo, told AFP an advance team would arrive next week and the rest of the group start deploying from the end of this month.
The island of 22 million people holds presidential polls on 25 October.
Madagascar was plunged into a protracted crisis when former disc jockey and Antananarivo mayor Andry Rajoelina ousted president Marc Ravalomanana in an army-backed coup four years ago.
Since then the country has been mired in a political crisis that has put a damper on the economy and drove most of the people deeper into poverty.
After the presidential polls, a parliamentary vote will follow on 20 December, along with a second presidential round if the October election does not deliver an outright winner.
The new dates were reached following two earlier postponements amid a lack of funding and controversy over the candidacies of three leading contenders.