Madagascar president installed, hopes for new aid

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ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar (AP) -- The new president of Madagascar has been inaugurated in what authorities hope will lead to resumed international aid and political contacts cut after a 2009 coup.

Hery Rajaonarimampianina, whose candidacy was backed by the island nation's former strongman, took the oath of office on Saturday. Robinson Jean Louis, the candidate he narrowly defeated in a second round of voting on Dec. 20, attended the ceremony despite alleging that the election was rigged and demanding a recount.

Foreign diplomats also were at the inauguration.

Rajaonarimampianina, an ex-finance minister, was backed by coup leader Andry Rajoelina. Robinson was supported by Marc Ravalomanana, the president ousted by Rajoelina in 2009.

International sanctions were imposed after the coup, increasing hunger and hardship in the aid-dependent Indian Ocean island off Africa's southeast coast.

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