Madagascar: Fireworks and Thumping Music Hit the Message Home As Top Three Contenders Vie for Highest Office

Voting in Diego Suarez.

Whether the full stadiums at the final election rallies in Madagascar at the weekend would result in a successful vote for each of the three main presidency candidates - or whether it would result in a turnout better than the 50% optimistically expected by observers - will be apparent on Wednesday.

Some top-notch political theatre played out in the final campaigns before Madagascar's presidential elections on Wednesday, even though the substance was mostly pretty vanilla-flavoured and corruption remained the elephant in the room.

Boom, boom, boom rang the fireworks, exploding into spectacular sparks in the night sky to the wordless tune of Black Eyed Peas' Where is the Love from large speakers. The cheering crowd raised their fingers in the sign of peace, and surged this way and then that, like the sea, a dark-skinned current of bodies pressed up dangerously close to each other, squashing the muscled bodyguards against the stage they are supposed to...

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