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Madagascar Leader Names Army Officer As Prime Minister

VOA News 20 December 2009

Madagascar's leader, Andry Rajoelina, has named a high-ranking army officer as the country's new prime minister.

Mr. Rajoelina's office announced Sunday that Colonel Camille Albert Vital would serve as the new prime minister, replacing Eugene Mangalaza, who was supposed to be prime minister under a power-sharing deal.

In a nationally broadcast address, Colonel Vital called on the people of Madagascar, including political rivals, to work with his government.

On Friday, Mr. Rajoelina canceled a decree nominating university professor Eugene Mangalaza as prime minister. Mr. Mangalaza was named to the post as part of a failed power-sharing deal with political rivals.

Mr. Rajoelina took power in a coup last March. On Wednesday, he appeared on national television to announce parliamentary elections would take place March 20. He made no mention of presidential elections.

International mediators have brokered several power-sharing agreements in recent months, but all have been unsuccessful.

The African Union and other regional bodies have refused to recognize Mr. Rajoelina's presidency.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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