Rajoelina, Andry

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Andry Rajoelina (än´drē räjōēlēn´ä), 1974–, Malagasy businessman and politician. Rajoelina was a popular disc jockey and built a successful media conglomerate. Elected mayor of Antananarivo in 2007, he used his office as a platform for criticizing President Marc Ravalomanana, and after the government closed his television station (Dec., 2008) he led demonstrations against him. The president removed him from office in Feb., 2009; the next month, with military support, Rajoelina named himself president and Ravalomanana went into exile, a move condemned internationally as an unlawful coup. Extended talks with former leaders of Madagascar on forming a transitional government were ultimately abandoned by Rajoelina, who won approval of a new constitution in a Nov., 2010, referendum. Barred from running in the 2013 presidential election, he was succeeded (Jan., 2014) by Hery Rajaonarimampianina, whom Rajoelina had supported.