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DEVELOPING STORY: Madagascar president Andry Rajoelina survives assassination attempt

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Madagascar president, Andry Rajoelina (PHOTO /Courtesy)

Madagascar president, Andry Rajoelina, has survives an assassination attempt, reports AFP citing prosecutors.

Several “foreigners and residents of Madagascar” have been detained as part of an investigation into the attempted assassination on the President’s life.

According to the news agency’s diplomatic source, two French nationals were among those detained as part of the probe.

Before entering the political arena, Rajoelina was involved in the private sector, including a printing and advertising company called Injet in 1999 and the Viva radio and television networks in 2007.

He formed political party Young Malagasies Determined and was elected Mayor of Antananarivo in 2007.

While in this position, he led an opposition movement against then-President Marc Ravalomanana that culminated in a 2009 political crisis.

Rajoelina was appointed as President of the High Transitional Authority of Madagascar (HTA) by a military council, in a move characterised as a coup d’état by the international community.

Rajoelina dissolved the Senate and National Assembly, and transferred their powers to a variety of new governance structures responsible for overseeing the transition toward a new constitutional authority.

This conflicted with an internationally mediated process to establish a transitional government.

Voters approved a new constitution in a controversial national referendum in November 2010, ushering in the Fourth Republic.

He held the Presidency of the HTA of until general elections were held in 2013, and stepped down in 2014.

He won the 2018 presidential election and was inaugurated President of Madagascar on 19 January 2019.

In April and May 2020, President Rajoelina gained media attention when he launched an untested coronavirus “cure” dubbed “Covid-Organics” The herbal tea was developed by the Madagascar Institute of Applied Research (MIAR) using artemisia and other locally-sourced herbs.

The military distributed batches of “Covid-Organics” to the public.

Drinking the herbal tea is obligatory in school.

Several African countries including Tanzania, Liberia, Equatorial Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau have purchased the herbal tea.

Matshidiso Moeti of the Africa regional office of the World Health Organization (WHO) said there was no available proof for the effectiveness of this cure.

It had not undergone proper clinical trials and no peer-reviewed data existed. The National Academy of Medicine of Madagascar (ANAMEM) was also skeptical.

A WHO advert on Google said: “Africans deserve to use medicines tested to the same standards as people in the rest of the world”.

The African Union has sought to test the technical efficiency of the herbal tea.

On 4 April, Arphine Helisoa (the pseudonym of Arphine Rahelisoa), a publishing director and journalist at the Ny Valosoa newspaper was placed in custody awaiting trial charged with spreading fake news after she was accused of criticizing the president’s handling of the pandemic and of “incitement of hatred” towards President Rajoelina.
Arphine Rahelisoa was released after a month.

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