New Madagascan president Hery Rajaonarimampianina, who was elected on December 20 with a 53.49% majority over his rival, Robinson Jean Louis, is a sort of unidentified political object who has become president a little by chance. He was a political novice when he joined the transition government as Minister of Finance and the Budget in 2009 after being introduced to previous president Andry 'TGV' Rajoelina by businessman Maminiaina Ravatomanga. Rajaonarimampianina, who had previously worked as an accountant for nearly 20 years, managed to hold on to his post through various ministerial reshuffles, gradually established himself as a loyal follower of the transition president, notably by agreeing to cover the questionable political and commercial practices of the "TGV Boys'. That did not stop TGV humiliating him in April 2013 by opting for the mayor of Antananarivo, Edgard Razafindravahy, as the presidential candidate of his Tanora malaGasy Vonona party. After various developments, Rajaonarimampianina nevertheless ended up as Rajoelina’s champion against Robinson Jean Louis, who had the backing of ousted former president Marc Ravalomanana.


In the meantime, Rajaonarimampianina had been bold and far-seeing enough to stand in the presidential election under the colours of his own political movement, the Hery Vaovao hoan'i Madagasikara association and had to compete in the first round of voting againstsuch leading transition figures as Hajo Andrianainarivelo and Camille Vital, as well as Edgard Razafindravahy. Rajeolina’s decision to support him in the second round made him the clear candidate of the outgoing administration. At this point, hwoever,Rajaonarimampianina adopted an ambivalent position, insisting on his determination to break with the outgoing regime while, at the same time, appearing in public with Rajoelina, who was constantly at his side during the campaign for the second round.

After five years of chaotic transition, marked by a deteriorating economic situation, the new president has many challenges to meet. He must begin by renewing relations with the international donors like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. For the people of Madagascar, however, his credibility will depend on his ability to rid himself of the yoke of Rajoelina, whose electoral coalition, Miaraka Amin'i Prezida Andry Rajoelina (Mapar), won 53 of the 151 seats at the National Assembly. Thanks to this result, Rajoelina will continue to be able to play a major political role.

As for Rajaonarimampianina, with his trusted collaborators from the Ministry of Finance and Air Madagascar, he now has the delicate task of creating for himself a network of solid political allies, particularly in parliament, so as to establish his authority as president.

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