Madagascar Government and Politics

State and politics

Madagascar Country Flag

Reference: Madagascar Flag Meaning


According to, a new constitution for the “Third Republic” was adopted in a referendum in 1992, but a large number of amendments and amendments were subsequently adopted in a new referendum in March 1998. Further changes were made in 2007. In November 2010, a new constitution was approved in a referendum; the most important change was that the minimum age for the president was lowered from 40 years to 35 years. The change was implemented to legitimize Andry Rajoelina’s (de facto president since 2009) claim of power. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of MA and its meanings of Madagascar.

According to the constitution, the country is led by the president, who is elected in general elections for five years and can be re-elected. The President has a very strong position and is the commander-in-chief and appoints the Prime Minister and on his proposal other members of the government. The President can also issue directives for government work, call for referendums and dissolve the National Assembly when at least one year has elapsed since the last presidential election.

The legislative power is held by the Senate and the National Assembly. Two-thirds of the Senate’s 63 members are elected for five years by an electoral college consisting of the country’s mayors and regional politicians; a third is appointed by the president. According to the constitution, the members of the National Assembly shall be elected in general elections for five years in a combination of proportional representation and direct elections in one-man constituencies. The number of members was reduced in connection with the 2007 election from 160 to 127. Parliament was dissolved after the change of power in 2009 (see below) and only in 2013 could elections be held again; The National Assembly has since 151 members.

The previous six provinces had far-reaching autonomy with their own legislative and executive bodies, but in accordance with the constitutional changes in 2007, they have been replaced by 22 regions.


In December 1975 Madagascar was transformed into a socialist people’s republic, and the only party allowed in practice was the L’Avant-garde de la Revolution Malgache (AREMA). In 1990, when most African one-party states came rocking, multi-party systems were again allowed, and a large number of parties were formed quickly. However, the transition to democracy became problematic and exposed Madagascar’s strong geographical and ethnic tensions. Almost all the shifts of power since independence have taken place through coups, popular revolts or in one case by the president being deposed for violating the constitution. Both the first free elections in 1992 and the subsequent presidential elections in December 2002 were surrounded by severe unrest on the border with civil war.

In March 2009, a political vacuum arose when Madagascar stood without an internationally recognized government. The president since 2002, Marc Ravalomanana, was deposed in a military-backed coup and Antananarivo’s Mayor Andry Rajoelina took over as the dominant political force. He became de facto president even though before the constitutional change in 2010 he was too young to be head of state. However, Rajoelina’s regime was approved by the Constitutional Court, but was not recognized internationally.

The opposition to Rajoelina was led by three former presidents, Marc Ravalomanana, Didier Ratsiraka and Albert Zafy (1927–2017). Negotiations on a unifying government remained unsuccessful and in 2010, Rajoelina appointed a government himself and had a provisional two-chamber parliament appointed. A referendum on a new constitution was held in November 2010, but it took until 2013 before elections to Parliament and the presidential post could be held. Despite promising otherwise, Rajoelina ran for election, but his candidacy was ultimately rejected by the country’s electoral court; even Ratsiraka and Lalao Ravalomanana (born 1953), wife of Marc Ravalomanana, were forbidden to stand.

After a first round of elections when no candidate was close to obtaining the absolute majority required, the fight was between former Health Minister Jean Louis Robinson (born 1952), with support from Ravalomanana, and former Finance Minister Hery Rajaonarimampianina, supported by Rajoelina. In the second round, which was held in December 2013, Rajaonarimampianina received 53.5 percent of the vote. Both candidates accused each other of electoral fraud but the election was approved by international observers and the result was approved by the Electoral Court in January and accepted by Robinson. In the parliamentary elections, the newly formed party Miaraka amin’i Prezida Andry Rajoelina (MAPAR, ‘With President Andry Rajoelina’) received the most seats but not his own majority; the second largest party becameMouvance Ravalomanana (MR). The transition to a legitimate regime meant that Madagascar regained its membership in the African Union (AU) after being suspended since 2009.

In the November 2018 presidential election, Rajaonarimampianina was challenged by the presidents Rajoelina and Ravalomanana. During the year, several demonstrations were held in protest against new electoral laws that were considered to favor the opposition. The Supreme Administrative Court agreed and certain elements of the law had to be withdrawn. In the first round, the incumbent president received only 9 percent of the vote. In the second round, 56 percent of voters cast their vote on Rajoelina, who thus returned to power after five years. The election to the National Assembly in May 2019 resulted in a clear victory (84 of 151 seats) for Rajoelina’s party, which changed its name to Isika rehetra miaraka amin’i Andry Rajoelina (‘We All With Andry Rajoelina’). Two with 18 seats became Ravolamanana’s party, which has taken the name Tiako in Madagasikara (‘I love Madagascar’). The other 51 elected members were nominated as independent candidates.


The legal system in Madagascar is strongly influenced by French law. The judicial organization consists mainly of petty courts, general courts, an appeal court and a supreme court. Although it was not applied after independence in 1958, the death penalty remained in the penal code until 2014, when it was formally abolished.

Heads of State


1960-72 Philibert Tsiranana
1972-75 Gabriel Ramanantsoa
1975 Richard Ratsimandrava
1975-93 Didier Ratsiraka
1993-97 Albert Zafy
1997-2002 Didier Ratsiraka
2002-09 Marc Ravalomanana
2009-14 Andry Rajoelina
2014-18 Hery Rajaonarimampianina
2018-19 Rivo Rakotovao (interim president)
2019- Andry Rajoelina

Madagascar Head of Government

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