Madagascar’s Rajaonarimampianina transfers power to Rajoelina ahead of swearing in

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Outgoing Madagascar president Hery Rajaonarimampianina has handed over power to newly elected head of state Andry Rajoelina.

The transfer of power was held at a ceremony in the capital Antananarivo ahead of President Rajoelina’s swearing in on Saturday.

Before the power transfer, the three held a closed-door meeting for 47 minutes, and then the acting president left the room and let the other two to continue their meeting for 28 minutes.

The two signed the official documents and shook hands.

The outgoing leader hailed Rajoelina’s election urging him to remain true to the country’s will to enhance the democratic space.

“We know that democracy in Madagascar is a bit weak and needs to be strengthened. But it is a duty of all, especially the leaders,” he said.

Elected in 2013, Rajaonarimampianina, a former finance minister under Rajoelina from 2009 to 2013 when Rajoelina was president of transition, took power from Rajoelina in 2014.

He was dismissed in September 2018 and the power was transferred to the senate chairman Rivo Rakotovao, who led the country temporarily until Madagascar had an elected president.

Rakotovao will resume his former position as senate president.

Rajoelina was declared winner of the election by the High Constitutional Court with 55.66 percent of votes and will be sworn in as president of the Republic of Madagascar.