18 Mar 2009

Military install new president

12:54 pm on 18 March 2009

Military leaders in Madagascar have conferred full powers on opposition leader Andry Rajoelina after the president resigned.

Officials said they had rejected an invitation from President Marc Ravalomanana, 59, to assume power as a military directorate.

Mr Rajoelina earlier installed himself in the president's offices, which was seized on Monday by pro-opposition troops.

The former disc jockey has led protests against Mr Ravalomanana since January.

Mr Rajoelina, 44, is the former mayor of Antananarivo. Under the constitution, he is six years too young to run for president.

In a telephone interview on Tuesday, he told the French television channel LCI his government would organise a fresh presidential election within two years.

The BBC reports the crisis has left more than 100 people dead.