Andry Rajoelina (Andry TGV)
Former Mayor of Antananarivo (2007-2009)
Date of Birth: 1975
This week's political agreement (see Pointer) enables Andry Rajoelina to consolidate his position as leader of the transitional regime in Madagascar and gives him international recognition. Many remain sceptical about his brand of populism. At 34, Rajoelina is constitutionally too young to be President but his youthful enthusiasm may have helped win support from the young; many older people doubt his political abilities.
Born to a wealthy family on 30 May 1974, Rajoelina was a disc jockey at various clubs in Antananarivo; he soon moved into promotion and then started Viva Radio. Ambition and energy earned him the nickname 'TGV' (train à grande vitesse, France's high speed train).
Rajoelina used these initials in his campaign: Tanora malaGasy Vonona (Determined Malagasy Youth). Elected Mayor of Antananarivo in 2007, Rajoelina saw relations with President Marc Ravalomanana's government quickly sour. It closed Viva Radio after the station broadcast an interview with ex-President Didier Ratsiraka. Street demonstrations followed in the capital and government forces shot over 100 protesters. After weeks of protest, Ravalomanana handed power to the army, paving the way for Rajoelina's provisional government. For now, he has the support of much of the army.