Madagascar's electoral body says ballots are being counted after the presidential election held Friday to end years of political and economic turmoil since a 2009 coup.
Beatrice Atallah, head nation's Independent Electoral Commission for Transition, told a press conference Saturday that preliminary results will be released after 10 days. Official figures will be published five days after that, she said.
Residents in the island nation said they hoped their vote will bring security and improved lives in a country with spiraling poverty levels where some get a daily wage of $2.
Madagascar has been in turmoil since 2009 when outgoing President Andry Rajoelina, with the help of the military, seized power from President Marc Ravalomanana.
Since then, Madagascar lost much-needed foreign aid and sanctions were imposed because of the coup.