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(1,312 words)

Author(s): Southall, Aidan W.
1. General Situation The Republic of Madagascar, off the coast of southeast Africa, is the world’s fourth largest island. The Arabs knew it from the ninth century. In 1506 the Portuguese became the first Europeans to reach it; in 1896 it became a French colony (Colonialism), achieving independence in 1960. A military regime took over in 1972, soon thereafter imposing a ban on multiparty politics that lasted until the presidential and National Assembly elections of 1992–93. By the constitution of 19…