Opposition leader Andry Rajoelina has been appointed by Madagascar’s army as the country’s new president after months of bloody unrest.
Some international observers have criticised what they say is tantamount to a coup d‘état that has flouted the Malgasy constitution. But 34-year old Rajoelina, who under the present constitution is six years too young to be president, has moved into the presidential palace, promising a new constitution and elections within two years. The island’s economy has been ravaged by three months of violence that has scared off tourists and foreign investors. Former president, Marc Ravalomanana, has left his country residence and his current whereabouts are unknown. Yesterday he handed over power to military leaders, who in turn transferred it to Rajoelina. The army had stayed neutral in the power struggle between the two rivals but mutineers finally swung behind Rajoelina and stormed the palace in the capital on Monday. However tension remains high. In all the confusion, many are unsure just how stable the country will be under the transition government of the young Rajoelina.