The South African government has congratulated Hery Rajaonarimampianina on his election as the new president of Madagascar, the international relations department said on Monday.
The government also expressed its satisfaction and appreciation for the dignified and conciliatory approach of Rajaonarimampianina and opponent Robinson Jean Louis, spokesperson Clayson Monyela said in a statement.
Jean Louis had challenged the results of the December poll, where Rajaonarimampianina was declared the winner with 53.49% of the vote, on the basis of voting irregularities.
The country's special electoral court announced on Friday that Rajaonarimampianina had officially been declared president.
South Africa also supported the statement by Namibia President Hifikepunye Pohamba, SADC's politics, defence and security co-operation organ chairperson, who urged Madagascar's opposing political factions to put aside their differences for the country's benefit.
Following the court's announcement on Friday, all of Madagascar's concerned stakeholders and their supporters should exercise restraint and refrain from political incitement which could undermine peace and stability, said Monyela.
"The government, all stakeholders and the people of the Republic of Madagascar are urged to work towards reconciliation and national unity."
It was the sincere desire of the South African government to reactivate and expand its bilateral relations with Madagascar.
Monyela said South Africa was looking forward to working with Rajaonarimampianina's administration to promote bilateral co-operation between the two countries. – Sapa