January 22, 2015 / 4:03 PM / in 3 years

Madagascar's opposition to challenge PM's appointment in constitutional court

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Madagascar’s opposition is to challenge the appointment of Prime Minister Jean Ravelonarivo in the constitutional court after the administrative court said it would not hear the case, extending uncertainty in a country struggling to repair its economy.

Ravelonarivo, an air force commander and businessman, was sworn in on Jan. 17 after being named by President Hery Rajaonarimampianina. He promised to work swiftly to boost an economy in tatters since the 2009 coup drove away donors and investors.

But Andry Rajoelina, who became president after the 2009 coup and now heads the biggest party in parliament, challenged the appointment in the administrative court, arguing it was unconstitutional.

The court said late on Wednesday it had no jurisdiction over the case and would not hear the challenge. An opposition spokesman said they would now take the case to the constitutional court.

Ravelonarivo has yet to outline a program for the Indian Ocean island. A peaceful 2013 election helped restore aid but economists say reforms are needed.

Political analysts say Rajoelina’s legal challenge is aimed at securing more seats for his party in cabinet.

Reporting by Lovasoa Rabary; Editing by Edith Honan and Janet Lawrence

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