Officially: Repoblika n’i Madagasikara; République de Madagascar.
English: Madagascar.
Seat of government: Antananarivo.
Status: Questionably democratic.
Structure: The president is elected directly. The parliament comprises the Antenimieram-Pirenena, elected in geographical constituencies, and the Antenimieran-Doholona, partially elected by district and partially appointed.
Chief governing party: Hery Vaovao ho an’i Madagasikara.
— Heads of government: Hery Rajaonarimampianina, president; Jean Ravelonarivo, prime minister.
Parliamentary parties: Miaraka Amin’ny Prezidà Andry Rajoelina; Mouvance Ravalomanana; Vondrona Politika Miara – Dia Malagasy Miara-Miainga; Parti Hiaraka Isika; Antoko Maitso Hasin i Madagasikara; Libéralisme Économique et Action Démocratique pour la Reconstruction Nationale; Firaisam-pirenena ho an’ny Fahafahana sy Fandrosoana; Andrin’i Madagasikara; Sambo Fiaran’i Noe.
Recent history: Strongman Didier Ratsiraka (1975-91, 1997-2002) refused to recognize the victory of his eventual successor, Marc Ravalomanana (2002-9), in the 2001 presidential election, and when Ravalomanana began to take control of Antananarivo (where he was mayor), Ratsiraka established an alternative state in Tamatave with the support of the provincial governors; the eventual defection of most of the army led to the collapse of Ratsiraka’s power. Subsequent parliamentary elections in 2002 were won by Ravalomanana’s party, Tiako I Madagasikara. The 2006 presidential election was worrisome in structure, with obstacles to the opposition (albeit Ratsiraka-affiliated); and a high-ranking soldier, Randrianafidiosa, calling for the government’s overthrow. The official results gave Ravalomanana a second term. TIM was also officially reelected in 2007, in a parliamentary election with low turnout. A new opposition, led by Andry Rajoelina (also the mayor of Antananarivo) led to a new standoff in 2009, with Rajoelina declaring himself ruler of the island and supporters temporarily seizing ministries. Following this, André Ndriarijaona took at least partial control of the armed forces, ousting the duly-appointed army chief of staff, declaring himself the new chief of staff, and securing the support of some military departments. He then collaborated with Rajoelina to seize central institutions, after Rajoelina called for Ravalomanana’s arrest; eventually they took full power. Years of negotiations between the two sides to resolve the crisis led to a the 2013 presidential election, in which neither of them, nor Ratsiraka, competed directly; but the result was essentially a a proxy defeat of Ravalomanana by Rajoelina, as Rajaonarimampianina defeated Jean Louis Robinson, standing for Antoko ny Vahoaka Aloha No Andrianina, in a run-off. Rajoelina’s party also won a plurality in the Antenimieram-Pirenena. In 2015, an overwhelming parliamentary vote to remove Rajaonarimampianina, supported by both main factions, was blocked by the constitutional court.
FH: 4-3, partly free (democratic). Econ: 5.57 (90), hybrid.
Updated: 2015 June 19.