Presidential election is underway in Madagascar despite an opposition boycott after prolong weeks of protests.
A curfew was declared overnight in the capital to prevent any trouble.
Political tensions have been running high, with the opposition saying that the incumbent, Andry Rajoelina, should be disqualified.
There have been six weeks of demonstrations, which have seen opposition supporters clash with police.
Opposition leaders have complained of an “institutional coup” in favour of Mr Rajoelina, saying he should be disqualified because he acquired French nationality.
According to reports, polling stations in opposition areas were mostly empty, with a a low-key security presence across Antananarivo.
This comes after 10 out of 12 opposition candidates raised their concerns about the election’s credibility and called on voters to boycott it.
Mr Rajoelina, who is running for a third term, has warned opponents that preventing citizens from voting is unlawful.
He was joined by his family as he voted in Antananarivo’s northern neighbourhood of Atmobe.
“A handful of people tried to prevent citizens from expressing their choice. They have the right not to participate but the populations have the right and the duty to vote,” Mr Rajoelina said.
Madagascar, one of the poorest countries in the world, with 75% of people living below the poverty line in 2022, according to the World Bank.
In the 30 million populated country, 11m people are registered to vote.
Polls opened at 06:00 local time (03:00 GMT) and will close at 17:00 (14:00 GMT) on Thursday.
Mr Rajoelina, who officially resigned in September in order to run for re-election, has denied the criticism from opposition leaders and expressed confidence that he will win.
According to AFP, his government has said the protests are motivated by a “desire to overthrow power” and to “sabotage the electoral process”.
It has also accused the opposition of “threatening the stability of the country”.
Originally the president of the Senate was supposed to take over from Mr Rajoelina but declined. This left the decision to a “collegial government” headed by the prime minister, seen as a Rajoelina ally.