Madagascar’s Ex-Transitional President Plans to Run in 2018 Vote

The man who led Madagascar for five years after spearheading a coup will run for the Indian Ocean island nation’s presidency in 2018, his party said.

Andry Rajoelina, a former nightclub DJ, deposed President Marc Ravalomanana in March 2009 and headed the country’s High Transitional Authority until stepping down in early 2014 following internationally recognized elections.

Rajoelina will be the candidate for the Mapar political party, spokesman Pierre Houlder told reporters in the capital, Antananarivo.

Madagascar’s political impasse resulting from the coup stalled growth as donors including the European Union froze budget aid and the U.S. suspended preferential trade terms. The crisis cost the economy about $8 billion in lost output, according to the World Bank.

President Hery Rajaonarimampianina, who took office in January 2014, was seen as a proxy candidate for Rajoelina.

Madagascar is the world’s biggest producer of vanilla, most of which is grown in the Sava region in the northeast of the country.

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