Madagascar President Marc Ravalomanana has appointed a former interior minister as the island nation's new prime minister.

The government announced the appointment of General Charles Rabemananjara Saturday, one day after President Ravalomanana was sworn in for his second term in office. Rabemananjara also previously served as military chief of staff.

The president won re-election last month by defeating 13 other candidates. A constitutional court rejected legal challenges filed by other candidates who alleged fraud in the poll.

International vote monitors say the electon was largely free and fair.

Mr. Ravalomanana has vowed to continue policies aimed at reducing poverty in the country of more than 17 million people. He took power after a disputed poll in 2001 that nearly sparked civil war in the Indian Ocean nation.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.