Madagascar's Rajoelina unilaterally names premier

AP News
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Posted: Dec 20, 2009 1:24 PM

Madagascar's military-backed leader has named a high-ranking officer prime minister.

The unilateral move Sunday by Andry Rajoelina was further defiance of efforts to find a consensus solution to the island nation's political crisis.

Rajoelina came to power in March in what other African governments called a coup. In November, Rajoelina and his rivals agreed on a consensus prime minister, Eugene Mangalaza, in talks mediated by other African leaders. But Rajoelina dismissed Mangalaza on Friday, and named Col. Camille Albert Vital prime minister Sunday.

In a nationally broadcast address, Vital called on all the people of Madagascar, in particular Rajoelina's rivals, to support his government. He adds his priorities are security and organizing elections.