Razafindravahy began his business career in rice trading in the 1980s but went on to diversify his activities and found the Prey group, which today comprises some 10 companies, including trading company Sitram, publishing house Ecoprim and the L’ Express de Madagascar daily newspaper.
His career path has not been entirely smooth. His relations with the authorities were execrable, particularly after 2007 under President Ravalomanana (2002-2009) when the latter tried to oust him from certain business sectors. This time was one of hardship for Razafindravahy, at the end of which, in 2008, he even had to leave the country and set up in Mauritius. His exile was short-lived, however, since, in March 2009, Ravalomanana was driven from power by Andry Rajoelina.
The change of regime brought Razafindravahy back into favour with the new political leadership and his business has flourished since then. When he became head of the Antananarivo special delegation, however, he chose to devote himself to this role. In August 2010, he quit his job as executive head of the Prey group, although he remains chairman of the board and majority shareholder.
Andry Rajoelina’s announcement in January 2013 that he would not be running for president changed things for Razafindravahy, who began to think about running for supreme office himself. To turn this dream into reality, however, he needs the support of a political party with a national audience and this he does not yet have. Despite this handicap, however, he does have support in a variety of influential circles. Among these are the Merina aristocracy, the Andriana; the big Catholic families of the capital; former students of the Centre d'Etudes Diplomatiques et Stratégiques (CEDS); and his Mauritian business partners. At the same time, among supporters of Andry Rajoelina and the Merina middle classes, he faces a heavyweight rival in the form of Hajo Andrianainarivelo, deputy prime minister in charge of territorial planning, who also has presidential ambitions.
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