The new leader of Madagascar has apparently not gotten off to the best start.
Days after taking office, Hery Rajaonarimampianina faced accusations that he plagiarized parts of another world leader's speech for his inaugural address Saturday. According to French-language reports, Rajaonarimampianina's speech shared some striking similarities with an address delivered by former French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
"I ask my friends who have accompanied me here to leave me free, free to go to others, to the one who has never been my friend, who has never belonged in our camp, to our political family who sometimes fought us. Because when it comes to Madagascar, there are no more camps," Rajaonarimampianina said during his inaugural address.
As several French media outlets pointed out, Sarkozy uttered the same words -- save for a few small differences -- during his first address as a presidential candidate in January 2007.
Though Rajaonarimampianina's inaugural address was well received by the crowd, it wasn't long before the similarities between the two speeches were brought to light. A video compilation of the nearly identical addresses was posted on YouTube on Sunday, and, on Monday, local newspaper La Gazette accused Rajaonarimampianina of copying and stealing Sarkozy's words.
Rajaonarimampianina's team has since responded to the claims, but it has not denied the allegations.
"We don't have too much to say about the issue. You can take a quote from a person when needed," the president's campaign director, Jaobarison Randrianarivon, told the Agence France-Presse.