Newly-inaugurated Madagascar President Marc Ravalomanana on Saturday appointed an army general as prime minister in the first step to forming a fresh government for his second term of office.
Ravalomanana named Charles Rabemananjara, the former interior minister and his chief campaigner during last year's presidential elections in which Ravalomanana beat 13 rivals to win a second five-year term, his office said.
Rabemananjara's appointment came a day after the swearing in of the incoming president and the resignation of outgoing prime minister Jacques Sylla.
He is expected to name a new government in the coming days. Ravalomanana has pledged to revamp the country's economy to improve the lives of its 17 million people, nearly 70 per cent of whom live in abject poverty.
Unlike Madagascar's last elections in 2001 that plunged the country into months of political crisis, the Indian Ocean island's December 3 polls were relatively calm and hailed by observers.