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Vol 42 No 11

Published 1st June 2001


Madagascar

Political eclipse

The 'Red Admiral', sure of re-election, has a vision of the future

Anxious to show he cares about his people's welfare, President Didier Ratsiraka is worrying about the solar eclipse due in southern Africa on 21 June. He recently inaugurated the new 90-member Senate (30 senators nominated by himself) in which his Association pour la Renaissance du Madagascar (Arema) holds, along with its allies, an overwhelming majority. He had already summoned the press in March, not to reveal, as expected, that he would be a candidate at November's presidential election but to announce his fervent wish that all 15 million Malagasys should have special spectacles to protect them from the sun. Since his own poor eyesight (he once appeared almost blind) is a matter of electoral controversy, he demonstrated his recovery by reading aloud some extracts from this year's Nautical Almanac.

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