Madagascar, officially the Republic of MADAGASCAR, is an island country in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Southeast Africa. Madagascar lies in the Indian Ocean off the southeast coast of Africa opposite Mozambique. Madagascar is the fourth-largest island in the world, it is surrounded by numerous smaller smaller islands. The island was invaded by the French in 1883. Two years later it became a French Protectorate. In 1894 the local monarch was exiled. Stamps of the general issues for French Colonies were initially used. Local stamps were issued in 1891. The Malagasy Republic was proclaimed on 14 October 1958, an autonomous republic within the French Community, Madagascar became an independent member of the community in 1960. The first stamps of the republic were issued in December 1958. In May 1973, an army ousted Philibert Tsiranana, president since 1959. Cdr. Didier Ratsiraka was named president on 15 June 1975 – repression and censorship characterized his regime. The country’s political instability has characterised the recent decades.

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