Rajoelina formally takes over as Madagascar president

March 21st, 2009 - 5:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Marc Ravalomanana Antananarivo (Madagascar), March 21 (Xinhua) Andry Rajoelina was formally inaugurated as president of Madagascar in an official ceremony held here Saturday.
The ceremony was attended by tens of thousands of his supporters.

Earlier on Thursday, the country’s constitutional court had given the go-ahead to Rajoelina’s appointment as president.

Rajoelina, a former mayor of Antananarivo, was backed by the armed forces, after Marc Ravalomanana stepped down from office. Ravalomanana’s resignation comes following months of street protests against his government’s policies.

Ravalomanana Tuesday handed over power to the military, who then gave it to Rajoelina.

The African Union (AU) Friday suspended Madagascar from its membership, saying Rajoelina’s army-backed arrival to power constituted a military coup.

The AU has given six months to Rajoelina to hold a general election in the island nation in the Indian Ocean.

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