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Madagascar President - Andry Rajoelina - 2009-2014

Opposition leader Andry Rajoelina led violent street protests against President Ravalomanana and eventually seized power in March 2009 with the help of dissident army officers. Born May 30, 1974 in Antsirabe, Andry Rajoelina is a businessman, Malagasy politician, mayor of Antananarivo from 12 December 2007 to 3 February 2009, then President of the High Transitional Authority [HAT] of the Republic of Madagascar of 17 March 2009 to 25 January 2014.

Andry Rajoelina began his career in 1994 in the events industry as a deejay, he organizes and leads the dances 'Live'. In 1998 he created the company digital printing and panel management advertising Injet. On November 3, 2007 Andry Rajoelina officially became a candidate for mayor of Madagascar's capital, and created the Tanora malaGasyVonona association or TGV. On December 12, 2007: Rajoelina was elected mayor of Antananarivo with 63.32% of votes a participation rate of 40%. He was the main opponent of Hery Rafalimanana, the Tiako I Madagasikara party (TIM) party of President Marc Ravalomanana. On December 17, 2008, after stopping broadcast of the TV channel Viva TV ordered by the government after the distribution of the interview of former president Didier Ratsiraka (calling to destabilize the democratically elected government), Andry Rajoelina demanded the reopening of his television channel and issued an ultimatum to the government which expired on January 13, 2009.

On January 24, 2009 He called for general strike and demanded the resignation of Minister of Communication and the Minister of Lands. On January 26, 2009 he organized another anti-government protest which degenerated into riots and a series of looting. Rajoelina proclaimed himself "in charge of national affairs "on the Place du 13 Mai on January 31, 2009. He organized a demonstration on the Place du 13 Mai on February 7, 2009 and asked his supporters to march on the State palace Ambohitsorohitra yet classified a "red zone".

On March 17, 2009, after demonstrations in the capital, democratically elected President Ravalomanana stepped down under pressure from the military. Ravalomanana purported to transfer his authority to a senior military figure, who in turn purported to confer the presidency on opposition leader Andry Rajoelina, the mayor of Antananarivo and leader of the demonstrations. Andry Rajoelina declared himself “President of the High Transitional Authority” (HAT). The United States characterized the transfer of power as tantamount to a military coup d'etat and did not recognize the HAT.

In the wake of the coup, Madagascar now had a young, untested, and naive leader who enjoyed unreliable support from those who pushed him forward, and almost no support or even familiarity beyond the capital; his ability to retain the reins of power was uncertain, especially as his odds of success were low.

On 28 August, former president Ravalomanana was tried in absentia, convicted, and sentenced to forced labor for life for the February 2009 killings by presidential guards of at least 30 protesters outside Ambohitsorohitra Palace. Ravalomanana continued to claim his innocence while exiled in South Africa.

RAJOELINA was named interim president, promising fresh elections within 24 months. A framework was drawn-up by a mediation process led by the SADC, prohibiting former heads of state from participating in the next election. RAJOELINA initially announced he would not be a candidate, however, when RAVALOMANANA’s wife, Lalao submitted her candidacy, he went back on this statement. As the framework for the election had not been met, the election was repeatedly postponed from the initial deadline of the end of 2009. Rajoelina pledged to hold presidential elections by October 2010 (a pledge that he did not fulfill), following a constitutional referendum and revision of the electoral code. The United States condemned the unconstitutional and undemocratic change of power in Madagascar and considered the series of events of early 2009 that led to the installation of the de facto leadership to be a military coup d'etat.

Former President Albert Zafy, who still commanded widespread support among coastal ethnic groups, denounced both the pro- and anti-HAT camps. Instead, in March 2009 declared himself the leader of six new autonomous provinces (which already existed before the 2007 creation of 22 regions, although without true autonomy), without clarifying the extent of his support or the practical details of his candidacy.

President of the High Transitional Authority Andry RAJOELINA dissolved the National Assembly and Senate on March 19, 2009 after the military coup two days earlier placed him in power. On October 7, 2010, transitional President RAJOELINA established an unelected interim bicameral legislature, consisting of the Congress of the Transition (256 seats) and the Higher Council of the Transition (90 seats). While members of the opposition were included based on a mutual agreement, all members were appointed by the High Transitional Authority. The National Assembly and Senate will be restored and the transitional legislature dissolved after the elections on December 20, 2013. This date will also mark the second round of the presidential election, which will determine who will succeed RAJOELINA and complete Madagascar’s return to democratic government.

The island was wracked by political turmoil over the three years since the ousting of president Marc Ravalomanana, who since lived in self-imposed exile in South Africa. On September 17, 2011, representatives of most of Madagascar's major political factions signed a "Roadmap for Ending the Crisis in Madagascar," endorsed by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which aimed at ending the long political crisis through the formation of a more neutral, power-sharing interim government that would prepare the country for elections. Rajoelina has not yet implemented the necessary measures and reforms to comply with his - and his regime's - commitments under the SADC-endorsed "Roadmap."

In August 2013, the Malagasy electoral court invalidated the candidacy of RAJOELINA, Lalao RAVALOMANANA, and former president Didier RATSIRAKA, finally clearing the way for elections. The Malagasy Electoral Court has approved 33 candidates to the Independent National Election Commission (CENI-T) to participate in the election. The first round of the election was held on October 25. Jean-Louis ROBINSON (21.1%) and Hery RAJAONARIMAMPIANINA (15.9%) received the most votes and advanced to the second round of the election.

Rajoelina remained in control at the head of a transitional government until 2014.

Madagascar President - Andry Rajoelina - Second Term 2019-20??

Rajoelina, 44, was sworn in as president in 2019 after a hotly contested 2018 election and a constitutional court challenge from his rival.

On Madagascar's Independence Day celebrations on June 26, the gendarmerie announced they had foiled an assassination attempt on their boss, General Richard Ravalomanana, who is also Rajoelina's right-hand man. Reports of the assassination plot came after several months of turbulence in the island nation, with threats directed at journalists reporting on the country's coronavirus pandemic and a burgeoning famine in the south of the country.

Madagascar said 20 July 2021 it had foiled an attempt to assassinate President Andry Rajoelina and arrested six people, two of whom were French nationals. "Several foreign and Madagascar nationals were arrested on Tuesday, July 20, as part of an investigation into an attack on state security," prosecutor Berthine Razafiarivony said in a statement. "According to evidence in our possession, these individuals devised a plan to eliminate and neutralise various Madagascan figures, including the head of state," she said, giving no details about the alleged operation.

Madagascar on 02 august 2021 announced the arrest of five generals as well as high-ranking police officers in connection with a failed attempt to assassinate President Andry Rajoelina, the attorney general said. "To date, 21 people have been arrested and investigated," Berthine Razafiarivony told a news briefing. Among the latest arrests, "12 are active military and police personnel, including five generals, two captains and five non-commissioned officers," she said.

Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina sacked all his ministers 12 August 2021, days after he criticised some of their performances as below par. Rajoelina said the performance of some ministers was unsatisfactory. "Like in a football team, you have to change when there are failures in government," he said in comments broadcast on national television. "There will be a change and this concerns those who do not carry out the work entrusted to them."

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Page last modified: 06-09-2021 11:50:41 ZULU