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Formerly an independent kingdom, Madagascar became a French colony in 1896 but regained independence in 1960. During 1992-93, free presidential and National Assembly elections were held ending 17 years of single-party rule. In 1997, in the second presidential race, Didier RATSIRAKA, the leader during the 1970s and 1980s, was returned to the presidency. The 2001 presidential election was contested between the followers of Didier RATSIRAKA and Marc RAVALOMANANA, nearly causing secession of half of the country. In April 2002, the High Constitutional Court announced RAVALOMANANA the winner. RAVALOMANANA achieved a second term following a landslide victory in the generally free and fair presidential elections of 2006. In early 2009, protests over increasing restrictions on opposition press and activities resulted in RAVALOMANANA stepping down and the presidency was conferred to the mayor of Antananarivo, Andry RAJOELINA. Numerous attempts have been made by regional and international organizations to resolve the subsequent political gridlock by forming a power-sharing government. In late 2011, RAJOELINA appointed a new cabinet, and the country appeared to be moving towards new elections sometime in 2012.


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Government

Country name
Conventional long form Republic of Madagascar
Conventional short form Madagascar
Local long form
Republique de Madagascar/Repoblikan'i Madagasikara
Local short form Madagascar/Madagasikara
Former Malagasy Republic

Government type
Republic

Capital
Name Antananarivo
Geographic coordinates 18 55 S, 47 31 E
Time difference
UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions
6 provinces (faritany); Antananarivo, Antsiranana, Fianarantsoa, Mahajanga, Toamasina, Toliara

Independence
26 June 1960 (from France)

Constitution
Passed by referendum 17 November 2010; promulgated 11 December 2010 (2010)

Legal system
Civil law system based on the old French civil code and customary law in matters of marriage, family, and obligation

International law organization participation
Accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state
President Andry Nirina RAJOELINA (since 18 March 2009)
Head of government
Prime Minister Jean Omer BERIZIKY (since 2 November 2011)
Cabinet
Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister
Elections
President elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 3 December 2006 (next to be held on 8 May 2013); prime minister appointed by the president; note - a power-sharing agreement in the summer of 2009 established a 15-month transition, concluding in general elections tentatively scheduled for 8 May 2013 after repeated delays
Election results
Percent of vote - Marc RAVALOMANANA 54.8%, Jean LAHINIRIKO 11.7%, Roland RATSIRAKA 10.1%, Herizo RAZAFIMAHALEO 9.1%, Norbert RATSIRAHONANA 4.2%, Ny Hasina ANDRIAMANJATO 4.2%, Elia RAVELOMANANTSOA 2.6%, Pety RAKOTONIAINA 1.7%, other 1.6%; note - RAVALOMANANA stepped down on 17 March 2009
Note
On 17 March 2009, democratically elected President Marc RAVALOMANANA stepped down handing the government over to the military, which in turn conferred the presidency on opposition leader and Antananarivo mayor Andry RAJOELINA, who will head the High Transitional Authority; a power-sharing agreement reached in August 2009 established a 15-month transition period, concluding in general elections in 2010; as of December 2010 the agreement had not been fully implemented

Legislative branch
Bicameral legislature consists of a Senate or Senat (100 seats; two-thirds of the members appointed by regional assemblies; the remaining one-third appointed by the president; members to serve four-year terms) and a National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (127 seats - reduced from 160 seats by an April 2007 national referendum; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
Elections
National Assembly - last held on 23 September 2007 (next to be held on 3 July 2013); note - a power-sharing agreement in the summer of 2009 established a 15-month transition, concluding in general elections tentatively scheduled for 3 July 2013 after repeated delays
Election results
National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - TIM 106, LEADER/Fanilo 1, independents 20

Judicial branch
Supreme Court or Cour Supreme; High Constitutional Court or Haute Cour Constitutionnelle

Political parties and leaders
Association for the Rebirth of Madagascar or AREMA [Pierrot RAJAONARIVELO]; Democratic Party for Union in Madagascar or PSDUM [Jean LAHINIRIKO]; Economic Liberalism and Democratic Action for National Recovery or LEADER/Fanilo [Herizo RAZAFIMAHALEO]; Fihaonana Party or FP [Guy-Willy RAZANAMASY]; I Love Madagascar or TIM [Marc RAVALOMANANA]; Renewal of the Social Democratic Party or RPSD [Evariste MARSON]

Political pressure groups and leaders
Committee for the Defense of Truth and Justice or KMMR; Committee for National Reconciliation or CRN [Albert Zafy]; National Council of Christian Churches or FFKM

International organization participation
ACP, AfDB, AU (suspended), COMESA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, PCA, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the us
Chief of mission
Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Velotiana Rakotoanosy RAOBELINA
Chancery
2374 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone
[1] (202) 265-5525 through 5526
FAX [1] (202) 265-3034
Consulate(s) general Los Angeles, New York

Diplomatic representation from the us
Chief of mission Ambassador R. Niels MARQUARDT
Embassy
14-16 Rue Rainitovo, Antsahavola, Antananarivo 101
Mailing address
B. P. 620, Antsahavola, Antananarivo
Telephone
[261] (20) 22-212-57, 22-212-73, 22-209-56
FAX [261] (20) 22-345-39

Flag description
Two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a vertical white band of the same width on hoist side; by tradition, red stands for sovereignty, green for hope, white for purity

National anthem
Name
"Ry Tanindraza nay malala o" (Oh, Our Beloved Fatherland)
Lyrics/music
Pasteur RAHAJASON/Norbert RAHARISOA
Note Adopted 1959


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  Madagascar (Antananarivo):


  GPS points from Madagascar (Antananarivo)

Sakaifatra Riviere Fianarantsoa

Beroroka Toliara

Voaifotsy Toliara

Ambodivohitra Mahajanga

Ankijejo Toliara

Tsisitra Toliara

Sahamandrevo Toamasina

Behiratsy Toliara




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