(Bloomberg) -- Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina opened a wide lead in the Indian Ocean island nation’s election with about half of the voting centers reporting.

Rajoelina garnered 61% support, followed by Siteny Thierry Randrianasoloniaiko with 12.4% and ex-President Marc Ravalomanana with 12.3%, partial results published by the electoral commission on its Facebook page on Monday show. A candidate needs more than 50% to win in the first round in the world’s biggest producer of vanilla.

Observers from the African Union and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa note the Nov. 16 ballot took place “in a calm and peaceful atmosphere despite the boycott by part of the opposition,” they said in a joint statement. “However, the mission regrets the lack of enthusiasm in voters in most of the polling stations observed, which would affect the rate of the voter turnout.”

So far, turnout was about 43%, the results showed.

The final outcome is expected by Nov. 25, and will then need to be verified by the country’s constitutional court, according to Soava Andriamarotafika, rapporteur for the electoral commission. 

Forty-nine year-old Rajoelina, a former mayor of the capital Antananarivo, is seeking a third term as leader after first taking office in 2009. He didn’t run in the 2013 election but won the presidency in the last vote in 2018.

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