Plotline Thickens on Madagascar’s Political Standoff

Plotline Thickens on Madagascar’s Political Standoff

Popularly, Madagascar is known as an exotic and verdant island populated by cheeky animated characters voiced by some of Hollywood's biggest stars. But politically, it remains one of Africa's most volatile countries, regularly awash in coups, plots and prevarications that keep its tourist-dependent population in grinding poverty.

The latest installment in the Indian Ocean island's saga of political exploitation would seem to combine the two, pitting a yogurt salesman against a radio disc jockey in the battle for supremacy.

In March 2009, following weeks of anti-government protests, Andry Rajoelina -- the fresh-faced mayor of the capital, Antananarivo -- ousted President Marc Ravalomanana in a bloodless coup.

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