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Formerly an independent kingdom, Madagascar became a French colony in 1896 but regained independence in 1960. During 1992-93, free presidential and National Assembly elections were held ending 17 years of single-party rule. In 1997, in the second presidential race, Didier RATSIRAKA, the leader during the 1970s and 1980s, was returned to the presidency. The 2001 presidential election was contested between the followers of Didier RATSIRAKA and Marc RAVALOMANANA, nearly causing secession of half of the country. In April 2002, the High Constitutional Court announced RAVALOMANANA the winner. RAVALOMANANA achieved a second term following a landslide victory in the generally free and fair presidential elections of 2006. In early 2009, protests over increasing restrictions on opposition press and activities resulted in RAVALOMANANA stepping down and the presidency was conferred to the mayor of Antananarivo, Andry RAJOELINA. Numerous attempts have been made by regional and international organizations to resolve the subsequent political gridlock by forming a power-sharing government. In late 2011, RAJOELINA appointed a new cabinet, and the country appeared to be moving towards new elections sometime in 2012.


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Communications

Telephones - main lines in use World Ranking: 129
172,200 (2009)

Telephones - mobile cellular World Ranking: 83
8.242 million (2009)

Telephone system
General assessment
System is above average for the region; Antananarivo's main telephone exchange modernized in the late 1990s, but the rest of the analogue-based telephone system is poorly developed; have been adding fixed line connections since 2005
Domestic
Combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity about 40 per 100 persons
International
Country code - 261; landing point for the EASSy, SEACOM, and LION fiber-optic submarine cable systems; satellite earth stations - 2 (1 Intelsat - Indian Ocean, 1 Intersputnik - Atlantic Ocean region) (2010)

Broadcast media
State-owned Radio Nationale Malagasy (RNM) and Television Malagasy (TVM) have an extensive national network reach; privately-owned radio and TV broadcasters in cities and major towns; state-run radio dominates in rural areas; relays of 2 international broadcasters are available in Antananarivo (2007)

Internet country code
.mg

Internet hosts World Ranking: 105
32,537 (2010)

Internet users World Ranking: 127
319,900 (2009)


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  Madagascar (Antananarivo):


  GPS points from Madagascar (Antananarivo)

Sambava Anchorage Antsiranana

Ampasimbe Toamasina

Mangonaky Toliara

Belalanda Toliara

Ambohidra Mahajanga

Andilanamboa Antsiranana

Lac Bekopoly Mahajanga

Andranovato Mahajanga




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