The People of Madagascar have voted in the first elections since the fall of President Philibert Tsiranana in 1972.
SV INTERIOR Voters putting forms into ballot box (2 shots)
SV Soldiers doing same
SV President Didier Ratsiraka enters and puts his vote in box
SVs People queuing to vote and voting (3 shots)
SV Soldier voting
SV People crowding around ballot table (2 shots)
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Background: The People of Madagascar have voted in the first elections since the fall of President Philibert Tsiranana in 1972. About four million people made their choice on Thursday (30 June) for a new 137 seat National Assembly.
SYNOPSIS: About half the population of Madagascar, were eligible to vote in the elections. They could vote for only one political grouping, a coalition of four parties forming the Front for the Defence of the Malagasy Socialist Revolution. The Front Presented a combined list of candidates.
President Didier Ratsiraka's party, the main party in the coalition, is expected to win most of the 137 seats in the new Assembly.
The biggest surprise of the election campaign was the decision by the small Monima Party to pull out of the coalition, just before the election. Monima leaders then urged voters to abstain, but it's not clear yet whether many did so. Early results seem to suggest a fairly high turnout for the election which President Ratsiraka said marked the end of Madagascar's transitional period of government.