Africa :: Madagascar

Introduction ::Madagascar

    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 handing over power to the military, which then conferred the presidency on the mayor of Antananarivo, Andry RAJOELINA, in what amounted to a coup d'etat. Numerous attempts have been made by regional and international organizations to resolve the subsequent political gridlock by forming a power-sharing government. Madagascar's independent electoral commission and the UN originally planned to hold a presidential election in early May 2013, but postponed the election until late July 2013, due to logistical delays.

Geography ::Madagascar

People and Society ::Madagascar

Government ::Madagascar

    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
    name: Antananarivo
    geographic coordinates: 18 55 S, 47 31 E
    time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    6 provinces (faritany); Antananarivo, Antsiranana, Fianarantsoa, Mahajanga, Toamasina, Toliara
    26 June 1960 (from France)
    Independence Day, 26 June (1960)
    passed by referendum 17 November 2010; promulgated 11 December 2010 (2010)
    civil law system based on the old French civil code and customary law in matters of marriage, family, and obligation
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    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
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    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 NA); prime minister appointed by the president; note - a power-sharing agreement concluded in September 2011 established conditions for general elections, expected toward the end of 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; a power-sharing agreement established a 15-month transition period to conclude with general elections in 2010, which failed to occur; a subsequent agreement aimed for elections in early 2013 which have since slid and are now expected late in 2013
    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 concurrent with presidential elections); note - a power-sharing agreement in the summer of 2009 established a 15-month transition, concluding in general elections tentatively scheduled for late 2013 after repeated delays
    election results: National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - TIM 106, LEADER/Fanilo 1, independents 20
    highest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of 11 members; addresses judicial administration issues only); High Constitutional Court or Haute Cour Constitutionnelle (consists of 9 members)
    note - the judiciary includes a High Court of Justice responsible for adjudicating crimes and misdemeanors by government officials including the president
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court heads elected by the president and judiciary officials to serve single-renewable, 3-year terms; High Constitutional Court members appointed - 3 each by the president, by both legislative bodies, and by the Council of Magistrates; members serve single, 6-year terms
    subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; provincial and city tribunals
    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]
    Green Party or Vert [Sarah Georget RABEHARISOA]
    I Love Madagascar or TIM [Marc RAVALOMANANA]
    Renewal of the Social Democratic Party or RPSD [Evariste MARSON]
    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
    ACP, AfDB, AU (suspended), CD, COMESA, EITI (candidate country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIF (suspended), OPCW, PCA, SADC (suspended), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    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: New York
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Eric WONG
    embassy: Lot 207A, Point Liberty, Andranoro, Antehiroka, 105 Antananarivo
    mailing address: B. P. 620, Antsahavola, Antananarivo
    telephone: [261] (23) 480 00/01
    FAX: [261] (23) 480 35
    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
    name: "Ry Tanindraza nay malala o" (Oh, Our Beloved Fatherland)

    lyrics/music: Pasteur RAHAJASON/Norbert RAHARISOA
    note: adopted 1959

Economy ::Madagascar

Energy ::Madagascar

Communications ::Madagascar

    138,100 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    8.665 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    general assessment: system is above average for the region; Antananarivo's main telephone exchange modernized in the late 1990s, but the rest of the analogue-based telephone system is poorly developed
    domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity about 40 per 100 persons
    international: country code - 261; landing point for the EASSy, SEACOM, and LION fiber-optic submarine cable systems; satellite earth stations - 2 (1 Intelsat - Indian Ocean, 1 Intersputnik - Atlantic Ocean region) (2010)
    state-owned Radio Nationale Malagasy (RNM) and Television Malagasy (TVM) have an extensive national network reach; privately owned radio and TV broadcasters in cities and major towns; state-run radio dominates in rural areas; relays of 2 international broadcasters are available in Antananarivo (2007)
    38,392 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    319,900 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 127

Transportation ::Madagascar

    83 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    total: 26
    over 3,047 m: 1
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
    914 to 1,523 m: 16
    under 914 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 57
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
    914 to 1,523 m: 38
    under 914 m:
    18 (2013)
    total: 854 km
    country comparison to the world: 97
    narrow gauge: 854 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
    total: 65,663 km
    country comparison to the world: 70
    paved: 7,617 km
    unpaved: 58,046 km (2003)
    600 km (432 km navigable) (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    total: 1
    country comparison to the world: 156
    by type: cargo 1
    registered in other countries: 1 (unknown 1) (2010)
    Antsiranana (Diego Suarez), Mahajanga, Toamasina, Toliara (Tulear)

Military ::Madagascar

Transnational Issues ::Madagascar

    claims Bassas da India, Europa Island, Glorioso Islands, and Juan de Nova Island (all administered by France); the vegetated drying cays of Banc du Geyser, which were claimed by Madagascar in 1976, also fall within the EEZ claims of the Comoros and France (Glorioso Islands, part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands)
    current situation: Madagascar is a source country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and women and children subjected to sex trafficking; poor Malagasy women hired as domestic workers in Lebanon and Kuwait are vulnerable to abuse by recruitment agencies and employers; an increasing number of Malagasy men were victimized by labor trafficking abroad in 2012; Malagasy children are subjected to domestic servitude, prostitution, forced begging, and forced labor within the country, often with the complicity of family members; coastal cities have child sex tourism trades, with Malagasy men being the main clients
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Madagascar does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; law enforcement authorities have made a significant increase in efforts in 2012, resulting in 30 trafficking-related prosecutions and two convictions; public officials complicity in human trafficking, however, remains a significant problem; the government has failed to identify and refer victims to protective services and has not supported NGO-run care facilities; the government also has not engaged any Middle Eastern governments regarding the protection of and legal remedies for Malagasy workers exploited abroad (2013)
    illicit producer of cannabis (cultivated and wild varieties) used mostly for domestic consumption; transshipment point for heroin