Rajoelina appoints second prime minister in 48 hours

Madagascar's leader Andry Rajoelina appointed Albert Camille Vital to the post of prime minister on Sunday, two days after appointing Cecile Manorohanta to the same post.


AFP - Madagascar's military-backed leader Andry Rajoelina Sunday named a new prime minister for the second time in 48 hours, a decree said.

As well as naming Colonel Albert Camille Vital as prime minister with immediate effect, the decree said that other ministers and secretaries of state "remain in place pending the appointment of the government".

As recently as Friday evening Rajoelina had released a decree appointing Cecile Manorohanta, the deputy prime minister in charge of interior affairs, as prime minister and head of a new transitional government.

A separate decree the same day cancelled the nomination of Eugene Mangalaza as premier, which had been agreed by Madagascar's political groupings in an October power-sharing agreement.

Vital presided over his first cabinet meeting immediately after his appointment.

Addressing the population, the new prime minister said: "We are in a very difficult, even frightening situation. But faced with this situation I have accepted this appointment in order to contribute what I can and I ask the population to be indulgent."

Rajoelina, a 35-year-old former disc jockey who toppled Marc Ravalomanana with the army's backing on March 17, announced this week that he was planning to stage parliamentary elections in March 2010.

Vital, born in 1952, is married and the father of five children. He underwent military and engineering training and rose to the rank of colonel.

For the past 11 years he has had his own security company and is the current chairman of the chamber of commerce and industry.

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