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Madagascar president Andry Rajoelina sworn into office

Madagascar president Andry Rajoelina sworn into office

Madagascar

Madagascar president, Andry Rajoelina, has been sworn into office on Saturday after taking the oath of office in Antananarivo before nine judges of the High Constitutional Court.

In accordance with the Constitution, Mr. Rajoelina swore an oath “to perform in virtue” his function as President of the Republic of Madagascar and to use his powers “to guarantee and strengthen national unity and human rights”.

to perform in virtue" his function as President of the Republic of Madagascar and to use his powers "to guarantee and strengthen national unity and human rights.

“This is a new page in the nation’s history and it is hoped that in five years’ time, national unity will be strengthened,” said Court President Jean Eric Rakotoarisoa during the ceremony held at Mahamasina’s municipal stadium.

For the first time in the history of the island, which has been accustomed to political crises since its independence from France in 1960, the President’s inauguration took place in the presence of his electoral rivals and previous heads of state Didier Ratsiraka, Marc Ravalomanana and Hery Rajaonarimampianina.

On Friday, also for the first time in the country’s history, a transfer of power was made between two elected presidents, Mr. Rajaonarimampianina and Mr. Rajoelina.

“This is historic, it is an illustration of a democratic transfer of power, respect for republican values,” Rajaonarimampianina told the press outside the presidential palace.

The presidential election, the second round which was held on 19 December, was the scene of a fierce struggle between Mr. Ravalomanana and Mr. Rajoelina.

In power since 2002, the former had been forced to resign in 2009 in the face of a wave of violent demonstrations fomented by the latter, then mayor of Antananarivo.

The latter had then been installed by the army at the head of a transitional presidency that he left in 2014.

The two men had been banned from running for the 2013 presidential election as part of an internationally endorsed post-crisis agreement.

On 8 January, the Malagasy courts validated Mr Rajoelina’s victory by dismissing unsurprisingly all accusations of fraud by his rival Marc Ravalomanana.

AFP

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