Madagascar Names New Minister

madagascar
Hery Rajaonarimampianina says government is ready to alleviate poverty

Madagascar President, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, on Sunday announced the replacement of eight ministers, including a new finance minister, after dissolving the government earlier this month amid mounting public frustration over power and other issues.

Air force commander and businessman, Jean Ravelonarivo, was sworn in as the new premier.

There were innovations in the Ministries of health, culture, trade among others. While 22 other ministers maintained their jobs.

Maurice Gervais Rakotoarimanana, an accountant who has worked with the World Bank, would be the next Minister of Finance and budget.

The president said in a press conference that special attention would be given to building the energy sector saying, “This government is ready to fight. Ready to fight against poverty, ready to fight for the development of infrastructure, for education, for health”.

The mineral-rich island nation has been struggling to rebuild its economy which was crippled after a coup in 2009 that drove away donors and investors.

A peaceful election in 2013 has redeemed the nation a bit, but it is still struggling to impose stable government and economic. Challenges remain such as weaning the nation off fuel and electricity subsidies.

According to analysis by the International Monetary Fund released last week, Madagascar’s economy boosted about 3 percent in 2014, and could also increase by 5 percent this year if it can increase tax revenue and improve the business climate.

Madagascar is one of the world’s poorest countries, despite its reserves of nickel, cobalt, gold, uranium and other minerals.

Madagascar’s Former Finance Minister Wins Disputed Election

Madagascar’s former finance minister, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, has won  first presidential election since a coup in 2009 but his closest rival said the vote was rigged.

The electoral commission said on Friday that Rajaonarimampianina, the candidate backed by outgoing President Andry Rajoelina who spearheaded the coup nearly five years ago, won 53.5 per cent of the December 20 vote.

He beat Jean Louis Robinson, who ended up with 46.5 per cent and has demanded a recount.

Robinson’s camp has filed almost 300 complaints to the electoral court, which has to rule on the commission’s provisional result by January 19.

Celebrations were muted in the capital, Antananarivo, where Rajaonarimampianina had struggled to win support in the first round.

“I urge the Malagasy people to await the final result in complete serenity,” Rajaonarimampianina told reporters.

Asked about the vote fraud allegations, he said: “It’s (Robinson) who says that and not the people.”

Robinson stayed away from the results declaration.

“We have said all along there was massive electoral fraud across Madagascar,” said Elyse Razaka who helped run Robinson’s campaign.

“Robinson won’t order people to take to the streets. But it is different if there is a spontaneous movement.”

The poll is meant to end a crisis that has driven out investors, cut aid flows and sharply slowed the economy.