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Marc Ravalomanana Edit Profile

President

President of Madagascar

Background

Marc Ravalomanana was born December on 12, 1949 in the village of Imerinkasinina, which situated not far from the capital of Madagascar. The Swedish missionaries who taught him helped the smart boy to continue his studies in Europe in a Lutheran college. Returning home, he began working in a small dairy plant rented by his father that produced yogurt. The boy was selling it on the streets, riding a bike.

Career

Marc Ravalomanana said: "To live happily, it is necessary to go through a lot of difficulties; the rice price can’t be reduced in a moment, the same is about the new roads that can’t be built and foreign debt to be paid off in a moment."

He subsequently became the Vice President of the Christ Anglican Church and this helped him to get a World Bank loan, which allowed him to open a milk processing plant, on which later the company «TIKO» was established.

Ravalomanana’s business was developing successfully, and in the early 80's his company began supplying Malagasy agricultural products to foreign markets, creating a network of retail outlets in the Asian and African countries along the Indian Ocean coast.

Marc’s appearance on political scene was a surprise for many people. He wasn’t a member of any political party. An entrepreneur who has only a support group decided to enter himself as an independent candidate in the Antananarivo mayoral election, which at that time was a stronghold of the opposition movement, and in November 1999 he won the elections.

The new mayor of Antananarivo rapidly has won the attention of the population. Using the funds of the World Bank, French Development Agency and the European Union, he seriously began to improve the capital (primarily, considerable funds have been invested in the construction of new aqueducts and chemical disinfection of water to prevent transmission of infectious diseases).

In 2001 when the next presidential campaign was declared the country, Marc Ravalomanana announced his candidacy. Being aware of the fact that outside the capital no one knows him, for agitation he brought into play belonging to him three radio broadcasting stations and one television.

The real chances to win appeared for the mayor of Antananarivo in late October, when the leader of the opposition said that he would not aspire to the presidency of the country, and exhorted his supporters to vote for Ravalomanana.

The Presidential elections were held on December 16, 2001, but the results were declared only in a month. This allowed Ravalomanana to demand that the Central Election Commission would review the ballots. According to his words, a parallel vote count, which was made with the help of his members from the support group, shows the evidence of the fact that 52-53 % of voters chose him. The mayor was supported by independent observers - representatives of public and religious organizations of the island that have published allegations of serious violations of the law during the first round of elections.

The second round announced on January 25, 2002 was canceled. Actually anarchy reigned in January and February in Madagascar, enterprises did not work, transport, ports, flights stopped on domestic and international routes.

When the term of President Ratsiraka’s mandate expired, on February 21, 2005 during a rally on a football stadium Ravalomanana has proclaimed himself president of Madagascar. His actions were supported by the heads of the four main Christian churches in the country.

Ravalomanana has formed a new government, he changed the leaders in all ministries, including the military (Ratsiraka’s officials without resistance left their seats). The officer corps of the army (90 percent) and gendarmerie commanders were on Ravalomanana’s side. They supported the new president.

But the tension in the society grew, and to find a compromise with Ratsiraka, Ravalomanana suggested him to decide the question of confidence during the referendum. But Ratsiraka refused. Dual government emerged, which put the country on the brink of civil war. To set this conflict the African Union and other international institutions have joined.

On May 6, 2002 Marc Ravalomanana was sworn in officially, this time legally - by the decision of the Supreme Constitutional Court of the country. On 26 June 2002, the United States and then France and other creditor countries recognized his authority.

The coming to power in Madagascar of progressive politician, successful businessman, and supporter of economic and political reforms had a positive impact on the further development of Madagascar.