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Madagascar names new PM amid public outcry over blackouts

The Indian Ocean island, eyed by miners for its mineral wealth, is struggling to rebuild its economy.

FILE: Madagascans wave the national flag during celebrations of the 50 years of independence in Antananarivo on 26 June, 2010. Picture: AFP.

ANTANANARIVO - Madagascar's president named air force commander and businessman Jean Ravelonarivo as the new prime minister on Thursday, handing him the task of dealing with the mounting public complaints about blackouts and other problems that led his predecessor to quit.

The Indian Ocean island, eyed by miners for its mineral wealth, is struggling to rebuild its economy which was battered after a 2009 coup that drove away donors and investors.

A peaceful 2013 election helped restore some international aid, but big challenges remain, including weaning the nation off fuel and electricity subsidies.

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