36 bets vie for top post

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Antananarivo — Thirty-six candidates will do battle to win the presidency in Madagascar on 7 November.

The three frontrunners are former presidents and here are their profiles:
Marc Ravalomanana, 68, was ejected from power in 2009 and is looking to get his revenge at the ballot box.

A former milkman born to a peasant family, he went on to form an agro empire after creating Tiko yoghurt.

The newly wealthy self-made man became the mayor of Antananarivo in 1999.

Andry Rajoelina, 44, is the pollsters’ favourite and has attracted impressive numbers to his rallies which have featured performance artists and fireworks.

His policies have drawn the mirth of his rivals, such as a proposal to fit zebu cows with trackers to battle rustling, and a scheme to convert Tamatave port into a “Malagasy Miami.”

Hery Rajaonarimampianina, who turns 60 on Tuesday prides himself on his low-key demeanour and is perhaps the most understated of the leading contenders.

As president, the master economist hoped to turn the page on years of turmoil.

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