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Ravalomanana, Marc

Marc Ravalomanana (märk rävälōmänän´), 1949–, Malagasy political leader. He made a fortune manufacturing dairy products and began his political career in 1999 when he was elected mayor of Antananarivo. In 2001 he challenged incumbent Didier Ratsiraka for the country's presidency. Close results and postelection tensions threatened the nation with civil strife until Ravalomanana was declared the winner in 2002 after an internationally supervised recount. His party, Tiako I Madagasikara (I Love Madagascar), won a parliamentary majority later that year. In 2006 he was reelected in in a contest in which two major candidates were prohibited from running. In late 2008, Antananarivo's mayor, Andry Rajoelina, led demonstrations demanding the president's resignation; street violence ensued in early 2009. In Mar., 2009, a military mutiny forced Ravalomanana from office and into exile, and Rajoelina was installed as president. Ravalomanana was convicted (2010) in absentia and sentenced to life for the killing of pro-Rajoelina demonstrators by the presidential guard. He and his wife (and Rajoelina) were barred from running in the 2013 presidential election, which was won by Hery Rajaonarimampianina, a Rajoelina ally. Ravalomanana returned to his homeland in 2014 and was arrested, but his sentence was reversed in 2015.

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