Wednesday, March 18, 2009

34-Year-Old President




The Regenerates are all about young people taking charge and doing big things. Having said that, I wonder if my fellow Regenerates would endorse Andry Rajoelina, the new president of Madagascar. 34-year-old Rajoelina took power (literally) yesterday after successfully orchestrating a coup against the sitting president. Seeing he had no other option, sitting president Marc Ravalomanana handed power over to the country's military, which in turn gave control over to our Rajoelina this morning.

Madagascar, the African island off the Indian ocean has been plagued by poverty and political violence. In December 2008, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and the African Development Bank (ADB) suspended their support, citing irregularities (corruption). In February, the outgoing president sanctioned the use of military force against citizens rallying in front of the president's office - killing 30 people. In recent days, the military leaders denounced the use of force saying their mission is to protect citizens not oppress them - good for them!

The new president is supposed to be in office until 2011, when elections would be scheduled. We/I wish the new president well (this does not in any way imply support for his method of taking power). For the sake of the Malagasy people (and for young people everywhere), the Regenerates hope this former DJ is able to usher in an era of peace and prosperity for the island nation.

By Kehinde Togun

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