Madagascar President Appoints Roger Kolo as Prime Minister

Madagascar’s President Hery Rajaonarimampianina named a prime minister in a step that may help normalize international relations affected by a coup five years ago.

Roger Kolo, a physician whose bid to run in 2013’s presidential election was rejected because he didn’t meet residency requirements, will serve as premier, Colonel Roger Ralala, secretary general of the presidency, said in an address broadcast on state television.

Donor aid, excluding humanitarian assistance, to the Indian Ocean island nation was halted in 2009 when Andry Rajoelina seized power from then-president Marc Ravalomanana with the help of the military.

Rajaonarimampianina’s election in December led the African Union to lift its suspension on Madagascar’s membership. The World Bank, European Union and U.S. have said they’re waiting for the formation of a government before restoring full ties.

The crisis in Madagascar has cost the economy, which relies mainly on tourism, agriculture and mining, at least $8 billion in lost output, according to the World Bank.

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