Madagascar’s Constitutional Court on Tuesday confirmed Andry Rajoelina as the winner of the country’s presidential election after his opponent had lodged a complaint alleging that the result was riddled with fraud.
“Andry Rajoelina is declared the elected president of the republic,” Judge Jean-Eric Rakotoarisoa declared, triggering celebrations among supporters gathered in the capital Antananarivo.
In the run-off vote on December 19, Rajoelina took 55% and Marc Ravalomanana won 44%, according to the final results.
Ravalomanana had complained of massive fraud and petitioned the Constitutional Court.
Last week riot police in the Indian Ocean island used tear gas to break up one of several protests by thousands of Ravalomanana supporters in Antananarivo.
The two rivals, who are both former presidents, were banned from running in the 2013 election as part of an agreement to end recurring crises that have rocked Madagascar since it gained independence from France in 1960.
The 2018 two-round election was beset by allegations of fraud from both sides and a contested result may raise the risk of renewed political instability.
European and African Union election observers said they had not seen any evidence of malpractice.