Madagascar. According to CountryAAH, major public holidays in Madagascar include Independence Day (June 26) and New Year (January 1). The President of Parliament was appointed in May. He was charged with treason after praising the Iranian nuclear research program during a visit to Iran.
In December, Marc Ravalomanana was re-elected as president in the first round of elections with just under 55% of the vote. The election was preceded by minor unrest, including an accidental attempt by a dissatisfied general to stage a coup d’état. Former Deputy Prime Minister Pierrot Rajaonarivelo, who was previously considered the most serious challenger to Ravalomanana, was denied the right to run for office and was prevented from returning to Madagascar from the country. He was previously sentenced in his absence to both five years in prison for abuse of power and fifteen years in prison for embezzlement.
A Canadian-South Korean consortium was granted permission to mine nickel and cobalt at Maramanga for approximately 27 years from 2007, approximately 11 km east of the capital Antananarivo. It is believed to be the world’s largest nickel mine and is expected in the long term to raise the poor Madagascar’s gross domestic product by up to SEK 700 million. a year.