Africa’s newest, and youngest, leader has been sworn in, in a ceremony boycotted by the outside world. The change of power in Madagascar has been denounced as a coup by the African Union, and no foreign ambassador witnessed Andriy Rajoelina assuming the trappings of office. His staff insisted none had been invited anyway.
Rajoelina, 34, had led months of protests against former President Marc Ravalomanana, who was accused of running Madagascar like a private fief. Rajoelina has promised to fight poverty and restore democracy, but not everyone is convinced. As he was being sworn in, hundreds of Ravalomanana supporters noisily demanded his return. The new president is six years too young to hold that office, but the judiciary and the army support him and the constitution is expected to be changed.