• Short Summary

    The new nineteen-member Cabinet of the Democratic Republic of Madagascar has been shorn into office.?

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    The new nineteen-member Cabinet of the Democratic Republic of Madagascar has been shorn into office. The government takes office at the end of a period of immense political change, which has shifted Madagascar since 1972 from a liberal to a Marxist state. Some local observers see the newly-formed government as the final step in a series of manoeuvres by President Didior Ratsiraka to achieve this transformation of the country's social, economic and political system.

    SYNOPSIS: French colonial architecture is one of the few remaining signs of the influence exerted on Madagascar in the past. Today, the country has achieved on of President Ratsiraka's dreams. As his new ministers arrived to be presented and sworn into office, his long hoped-for plan for a "National Front for the defence of the Socialist Revolution" has become a political reality. It's not a military government though. There's only one military Cabinet minister.

    For President Ratsiraka, the care is not the symbol of oppression.

    The appointment of a woman minister of Art and Revolutionary Culture is a sign of change. For Prime Minister, police Lieutenant-Colonel Rakotoarijaona, the job ahead is clear. President Ratsiraka says the major task is to "struggle against imperialism and explode colonial structures in order to give genuine power to the people."
    Whether this new government of four socialist parties does so remains to be seen, for already there's a split in the ranks. A fifth party withdrew from the coalition in June, saying the government's policies did not reflect popular aspirations.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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    Available on request
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