Friday, February 10, 2012

Andry Rajoelina

Andry Nirina Rajoelina (born May 30, 1974, is the former mayor of Antananarivo who became Head of state of Madagascar on March 21, 2009 after the 2009 Malagasy political crisis.

Rajoelina is the youngest head of government in Africa and the third youngest in the world, surpassed by Prime Minister of Montenegro Igor Lukšić, who is two years his junior, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, ten years his junior.

Early Career
The son of a colonel, he soon gained prominence after establishing his own radio station, Viva Radio, and a successful advertising company. He earned the nickname TGV after the French high-speed train, which he later continued to use as the name of his political movement.

Political career
As the head of the TGV association, Tanora malaGasy Vonona (Young Malagasies Determined), Rajoelina decided to run for mayor of Antananarivo, the national capital. He faced Hery Rafalimanana, presidential candidate and previous mayor of the city. He did so under the status of President of Special Delegation (PDS), appointed directly by President Marc Ravalomanana.

Rajoelina was elected mayor on 12 December 2007 with 63.3% of the vote. He inherited a city heavily indebted. For example, on 4 January 2008, shortly after his election, the state-run company Jirama cut off water and electricity to the city, citing bad debts as the reason.

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