Madagascar President Starts New Term Amid Opposition Boycott

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Madagascar President, Andry Rajoelina took the oath in a packed stadium on Saturday to start a new term, rebuffing an opposition boycott and international concerns over the island’s future.

The 49-year-old party organiser-turned-politician vowed to act with “integrity” to lift the country of 29 million out of its poverty.

Rajoelina said: “Madagascar is today under construction. The transformation is underway, rising on the horizon.”

It was gathered that demonstrations were banned in the capital, Antananarivo, for five days ahead of Saturday’s ceremony.

Most opposition candidates boycotted the election and the coalition has insisted it will not recognise the result.

Rajoelina secured victory without needing a second-round vote, though only 46 percent of eligible voters cast ballots.

However, Rajoelina, who became president a first time without an election in 2009 after Ravalomanana was ousted in a military mutiny, has quickly faced international pressure.

After the election, ambassadors from the European Union, United States and other major donor countries expressed concern at “tensions and incidents” that marked the campaign.

The US State Department said that “domestic and international election observers, noted irregularities in the electoral process.”