Friday, April 5, 2002
Naked Madagascan prostitutes plunge into politics
ANTANANARIVO Madagascan prostitutes stripped naked to demand the lifting of roadblocks set up by supporters of the country's embattled president, newspapers reported on Friday.
A small group of women discarded their alluring attire on Thursday night to demand an audience with the governor of the port of Toamasina, where barricades have deprived them of clients and vital income.
Supporters loyal to Didier Ratsiraka, who has ruled the island for more than 20 years, have set up road blocks and blown up road bridges to starve Antananarivo of essential goods.
The blockades aim to undermine self-declared president Marc Ravalomanana, who has used massive rallies to seize control of ministries and take over the government, saying he was cheated of victory in elections lastr December.
Complaining that they were having trouble feeding their families due to a lack of tourists and other customers, the women hurled a torrent of foul language at the governor's office until he finally consented to meet them.
Media reports said governor Samuel Lahady eventually handed them Madagascan francs worth about 833 euros ($733) to distribute among the 212 members of the prostitutes union in Toamasina, the main port on the impoverished Indian Ocean island.
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Created: April 6, 2002
Last modified: July 9, 2002
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