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Rajoelina Sworn In As President

Andry Rajoelina has been sworn in as Madagascar's new president in front of tens of thousands of supporters at a sports stadium.

Mr. Rajoelina, who had been the mayor of the capital city, took power this week after protests and a loss of military support forced President Marc Ravalomanana to resign.

Patricia Rajeriarisonisa is a resident of the capital Antananarivo. She told VOA’s Douglas Mpuga earlier today that there is a feeling of anxiety in the capital as people do not know what to expect. “The situation is really quiet, there are no robberies and shops are not being broken into but the people are anxious about the future. They are waiting for international recognition (of the government) that does not seem to be there now.”

She said there has been transition in the ministries, where some officials of the previous government have handed over office to the Rojoeline officials.”the question is whether these incoming officials will perform to the peoples’ expectations”.

Rajeriarison said there were many happy people in the streets but the question of international recognition still hangs on.

“Of course there is concern about international recognition. Madagascar relies on international aid although some people are saying that the international community cannot let down such a poor country (Madagascar)”.

She mentioned important reform programs such as land tenure reform, and infrastructure programs that the country by itself cannot finance. “I am not sure most of the population realizes the implications for the time being. But what I know – through my experience working in the development sector- is that there are many sectors such as tourism that depend on foreign investment. It is going to be difficult for the new team (administration) to convince international investors to invest in Madagascar”.

Rajeriarison confirmed that some diplomats in Antananarivo boycotted the swearing-in ceremony. “Yes, even the papers wrote about it here. The United States and the European Union members said they would not attend”.

On the whereabouts of former president Marc Ravalomanana, she said there are reports that he is still in the country. “Nobody knows where exactly he is, but he is here. His family left but he is still here”.

Rajeriarison added that most people are asking for real national reconciliation. “They hope there will be no witch hunting. I also hope that is the case, but the other day, for example, the army went to Ravalomanana’s home. I guess they were looking for him but according to witnesses they damaged everything there. It is something we have to be cautious of. People will not like a witch hunt, she concluded.