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Senegal's President Invites Madagascar's Rival Leaders for Talks - 2002-04-12

The president of Senegal has invited Madagascar's rival leaders to negotiate on neutral ground in Dakar next week.

President Abdoulaye Wade says he hopes talks in the Senegalese capital would prevent a breakup of Madagascar.

Madagascar has been in a state of political turmoil since December's presidential election, which pitted President Didier Ratsiraka against the mayor of Antananarivo, Marc Ravalomanana.

The country's Supreme Court decided that neither candidate won a majority of the ballots, and ruled that a second round of voting would be necessary. However, Mr. Ravalomanana said he won outright, and declared himself head of state two months ago.

The international community has refused to recognize the takeover. President Ratsiraka says the dispute should be settled by a run-off vote.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.

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