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Page last updated at 19:53 GMT, Friday, 17 April 2009 20:53 UK

Warrant for Madagascar ex-leader

Supporters of ousted President Marc Ravalomanana demonstrate in the capital Antananarivo, 28 March
Ravalomanana supporters have held numerous rallies

The new leader of Madagascar, Andry Rajoelina, has issued an arrest warrant for the president he ousted last month, Marc Ravalomanana.

Justice minister Christine Razanamahasoa announced on state radio that Mr Ravalomanana had misused government funds.

Mr Rajoelina took power with the military's backing after months of street protests.

African nations condemned the takeover as a coup.

On Wednesday, Mr Ravalomanana, who is in exile in Swaziland, said he was intending to return to Madagascar.

Manandafy Rakotonirina at rally in Antananarivo, 16 May
Manandafy Rakotonirina is an old ally of the ousted president

He has also appointed a new prime minister, veteran politician Manandafy Rakotonirina.

Mr Rakotonirina was at a pro-Ravalomanana rally in the Malagasy capital, Antananarivo, for the announcement of the news on Thursday.

The French news agency AFP reports that 15,000 people attended the rally and the ousted president addressed the crowd by telephone.



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