Madagascar president unveils new government

Madagascar's government led by Prime minister Jean Ravelonarivo resigned on April 8, 2016 (AFP Photo/Rijasolo)

Antananarivo (AFP) - Madagascar President Hery Rajaonarimampianina unveiled a new government in the Indian Ocean island nation on Sunday after the previous one resigned over public anger at its handling of recurring power outages.

"This is a government that is ready to fight," Rajaonarimampianina said in a speech that was broadcast on television and radio to mark his first anniversary in power.

The team of 30 ministers will be led by Air Commodore Jean Ravelonarivo. Twenty-two among them were part of the previous government.

Rajaonarimampianina, president of one of the poorest countries in the world, has been criticised for his lack of results over the past year.

"We are going to speed up," he promised. "One year is not enough to change the country."

Prime Minister Ravelonarivo succeeds Roger Kolo, who resigned last week along with his cabinet following widespread discontent with their lack of response to repeated electricity failures.

Two people have died in recent weeks when angry Madagascans took to the streets to protest rolling power blackouts.

Even with just 15 percent of Madagascar on the grid, the electricity company Jirama has been struggling to pay oil suppliers on time, resulting in recurrent blackouts.

"We have the basics, we can focus on a growth of five percent this year," Rajaonarimampianina said.

Madagascar saw an economic growth rate of three percent last year, after no growth between the years of 2009 and 2013, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The democratically elected Rajaonarimampianina came to power in January 2014 marking a return to constitutional order after five years of severe crisis caused by the overthrow of president Marc Ravalomanana by Andry Rajoelina.

But Rajaonarimampianina does not have a majority in parliament and must contend with the hostility of Rajoelina who he refused to appoint as prime minister, despite his party being the most powerful in the national assembly.