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Madagascar - Political Parties

Major parties:
TGV Tanora malaGasy Vonona (TGV for 'train à grande vitesse', high-speed train)
(Young Malagasies Determined)
reformist, Rajoelina personalist, est.2007
TIM Tiako'i Madagasikara/J'aime Madagascar
(I Love Madagascar Party)
reformist, Ravalomanana personalist, est.3 Jul 2002
UNDD Union Nationale pour la Développement et le Démocratie
(National Union for Development and Democracy)
Zafy personalist, ecological, anti-AREMA, est.1989)
AREMA Andry sy Riana Enti-Manavotra an'i Madagasikara/
Association pour la Renouveau de Madagascar
(Association for the Rebirth of Madagascar)
socialist, part of FNDR 1976-90
AVI Asa Vita no Ifampitsarana
(People Judged by Their Work)
centrist, mainly highlands based, est.1993;
HVM Hery Vaovao ho an'i Madagasikara
(New Forces for Madagascar)
Former parties:
AREMA Antoky ny Revolisiona Malagasy/Avant-garde pour la Révolution Malgache
[Vanguard of the Malagasy Revolution],
est.14 May 1976;
In 1997 renamed Andry sy Riana Enti-Manavotra an'i Madagasikara
CSDDM Comité de Soutien à la Démocratie et au Développement à Madagascar
(Support Committee for Democracy Development in Madagascar)
anti-Ratsiraka, Dec 1992-1996);
FNDR Front National pour la Défense de la Révolution
(National Front for the Defense of the Revolution)
socialist, only legal political organization 1976-1990, included AREMA, 29 Dec 1976-Mar 1990);
PSD Parti Social Démocre
(Social Democratic Party)
socialist, 1956-Mar 1974, merged into
Parti Socialist Malgache [Malagasy Socialist Party])
CFVCommittee of Living Forces
[Contested the 1992 Presidential, 1993 National Assembly, and 1996 Presidential Elections]
Member parties are not available;
MMSMMilitant Movement for Malagasy Socialism
[Contested the 1992 presidential election]
Member parties include the Vanguard of the Malagasy Revolution (AREMA), Congress Party for the Independence of Madagascar (AKFM), National Movement for the Independence of Madagascar (MONIMA), and some members of the Popular Impulse for National Unity (VONJY)
FNDRNational Front for the Defense of the Revolution
[Sole legal political grouping from 1976 to 1989]
Member parties include the Vanguard of the Malagasy Revolution (AREMA), Congress Party for the Independence of Madagascar (AKFM), Congress Party for the Independence of Madagascar-Renewal (AKFM-Fanavaozana), Movement for Proletarian Power (MFM), National Movement for the Independence of Madagascar (MONIMA), Malagasy Christian Democratic Union (UDECMA), Popular Impulse for National Unity (VONJY), and the Monima Socialist Organization (VSM)
CFVCommittee of Active Forces (Comites des Forces Vives-CFV),
Pro-government political parties supporting President Zafy
[Contested the 1993 National Assembly Election]
Member parties include the Christian Action of Regional Cadres and Businessmen for Development (ACCORD), Congress Party for the Independence of Madagascar-Renewal (AKFM-Fanavaozana), Confederation of Civil Societies for Development (CSCD), Support Group for Democracy and Development in Madagascar (CSDDM), Acting Together (FARIMBONA), Action and Reflection Group for the Development of Madagascar (GRAD-Iloafo), Measures and Weights (VATOMIZANA), and the National Union for Development and Democracy (UNDD). The Committee for Living Forces (CFV) coalition was the largest component of this alliance.

Political parties enhance democracy because of their role in recruiting candidates, mobilizing the electorate, articulating, aggregating and representing conflicting interests in society, and forming governments and making policies. Political parties also help maintain political leaders in power, but those that do so to the exclusion of the democracy-enhancement functions become tools for neopatrimonial rule. In Madagascar, political parties have historically served as tools of neopatrimonial rule and not as instruments of democracy. The parties do not compete on platform or ideology, but rather on the strength and personality of their leaders.

The trajectory of a political party generally relates to the political path, even the personality, of its founder, the boss of the patronage system within party. He considers himself not just as a leader: he often has the last word, despite the statute and regulations Interior of the party. The removal from power, resignation or death of the leader is often the cause of a decline, deletion from the political scene or split in the party, like PSD and AREMA TIM. But the division may also have other reasons such as differences of opinion and / or strategy of the party leader with other leaders or members, possibly combined with the lack of pluralism, tolerance and discipline within the party, or ethno-regional causes some influential members of the party. In most cases, the leaders at the head of parties remain irremovable. The rotations are done inside the family of the deceased leader.

In Madagascar, political parties are influenced by elites to act as a nexus for political patronage networks geared towards the maintenance of power. Every political party in the history of independent Madagascar has been created by a leader at the top of a political network and has been followed by that party controlling the legislature. Few parties have survived and none ever held any significant influence with the loss of its leader in the Presidency.

On October 16, 1958, a Constituent and Legislative Assembly, chaired by Norbert Zafimahova was created to develop the new Constitution. April 29, 1959, the Constitution of the Malagasy Republic was adopted and 26 June 1960, Madagascar proclaims its independence. Legislative elections were held on September 4, 1960, and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) of President Philibert Tsiranana won 76 out of 107 seats in the National Assembly. The Congress Party for the Independence of Madagascar (Parti du congres de l’independabce de Madagascar – PCIM) won nine seats in the National Assembly. President Philibert Tsiranana was re-elected to a second term without opposition on March 30, 1965. Legislative elections were held on August 8, 1965, and the SDP won 104 out of 107 seats in the National Assembly. The PCIM won three seats in the National Assembly. Legislative elections were held on September 6, 1970, and the SDP won 104 out of 107 seats in the National Assembly. The PCIM won three seats in the National Assembly.

President Philibert Tsiranana was re-elected to a third term without opposition on January 30, 1972. Opposition political parties boycotted the presidential election. President Tsiranana turned over control of the government to Major-General Gabriel Ramanantsoa on May 18, 1972, and General Ramanantsoa was appointed as head-of-state on May 19, 1972. General Ramanantsoa formed a military/civilian government as prime minister on May 25, 1972. The government imposed martial law on August 29, 1972. General Ramanantsoa’s control of the government was approved in a referendum on October 8, 1972, and President Tsiranana resigned on October 11, 1972.

The referendum of 21 December 1975 led to the birth of the Second Republic. The Vanguard of the Malagasy Revolution (Avant-garde de la Revolution Malgache – AREMA) was established on March 19, 1976. At the time of the so-called "socialist" revolution of the 2nd Republic, the constitutional framework for activities political parties was limited to the National Front for Defense of the Revolution (FNDR). Political parties which did not integrate this Front were banned. Prime Minister Rakotomalala was killed in a helicopter crash on July 30, 1976, and Justin Rakotoniaina was appointed as prime minister on August 12, 1976. Local elections were held on March 20, 1977, and provincial elections elections were held between April 3 and May 8, 1977. The AREMA won 95 percent (or 220 seats) of the total number of provincial council seats. Legislative elections were held on June 30, 1977, and the AREMA won 112 out of 137 seats in the National People’s Assembly. The Congress Party for the Independence of Madagascar (Parti du congres de l’independabce de Madagascar – PCIM) won 16 seats in the National People’s Assembly.

Local press announced 01 August 1977 that the far left "Proletarian Party," the MFM/MFT, had been admitted to the National Front and that its leader, Manandafy Rakotonirina, had been named by President Ratsiraka to the Supreme Revolutionary Council (SRC). Tthis development had been generally predicted since the President expressed the hope in his speech to the National Assembly that certain strayed comrades of the left would join his program MFM/MFT stand for the "Malagasy expression: struggler for power to the small people and peasants", but it is seldom referred to except by MFM initials or as "Proletarian Party." Its members and supporters are mostly the students and unemployed of Antananarivo and they are known for their anarchic tendencies and willingness to resort to action and violence. It was formed in early 1972 and served as something of an adjunct to the Monima party but broke within the latter in early 1975 in protest against Monima's support of Ratsiraka. it was officially dissolved in September 1976 following the student riots and burning of the prime minister's office. It was generally considered to be the most radically inclined of the leftist parties.

The existence of the National Front for the Defense of the Revolution where political parties who called themselves revolutionaries were represented, had significantly reduced the role of the National People's Congress as a place of political ideas debates. By 1982 other parties of the "Front" included Rakoto Ignace, AREMA [Vanguard of the Malagasy Revolution]; Arsene Ratsifehera, AKFM [Congress Party for Malagasy Independent]; Radio Celestin Vonjy Iray Tsy Mivaky; Solo Norbert Randriamorasata, UDECMA [Malagasy Christian Democratic Union]; and Vestalistene, MFM-MFT [Militants for the Establishment of a Proletarian Regime-Militants for the Realization of the Revolution].

Legislative elections were held on August 28, 1983, and AREMA won 117 out of 137 seats in the National People’s Assembly. The PCIM won nine seats in the National People’s Assembly. There was no opposition in the 2nd Republic, at least before the end of the 80s when Presidential elections of 1989, parties policies (MFM-MFT, MONIMA-Ka Miviombio, VITM) who had distinguished themselves in the FNDR, had positioned de facto in opposition and had proposed candidates candidate against President Didier Ratsiraka. Legislative elections were held on May 28, 1989, and the AREMA won 120 out of 137 seats in the National People’s Assembly. The Movement for the Progress of Madagascar (Mpitolona ho an’ny Fandrosoan’i Madagasikara – MFM) won seven seats in the National People’s Assembly.

Several thousand individuals demonstrated against the government beginning on June 10, 1991. Sixteen opposition political parties established the Committee of Active Forces (Comites des Forces Vives-CFV), and nominated Jean Rakotoharison as president and Albert Zafy as prime minister on July 16, 1991. The National Popular Assembly was suspended after the 1991 event. The first term of the National Assembly of the Third Republic saw the existence of a plethora of political parties. The majority was difficult to find it, that is to say that the majority of trends depends on the existing political situation. That is why at the time, there was talk of "majority of variable geometry."

During the transition to the Third Republic after liberalization of political party activities, new political parties positioned themselves in majority for the ongoing democratization process. The political landscape underwent a reconstruction around new platforms: the proponents of MMSM power, composed between other parties of the former FNDR (AREMA VITM, MONIMA, AKFM, UDECMA etc.), and "Forces Vives" opposition Albert Zafy (Forces Vives Rasalama composed among others UNDD parties AKFM-Renewal, PRM, VVSV, MDC, PSD, SDB) and Rakotonirina Manandafy (MFM / Forces Vives Madagascar).

Most parties created after liberalization 1990 policy suffer from lack of source financing. This hampers the same time the emergence of a succession within these parties. The young people starting out in life had trouble finding funds, thus losing interest in activities of a political party. Lack of funding partly explains the easy tendency of parties policies to join in platforms in politically well-defined situations. Often parties or party leaders constantly looking for funding are easily "recruit" by political leaders having funding sources. Change of political color have become a habit for elected officials. This phenomenon appeared in the assembly National with the 1992 constitution, which stipulates the nullity of the imperative mandate. This is manifested through either a change of party and coalition either creation of a new coalition group.

Legislative elections were held on June 16, 1993, and the CFV-led coalition won 75 out of 138 seats in the National Assembly. The Movement for the Progress of Madagascar (Mpitolona ho an’ny Fandrosoan’i Madagasikara – MFM) won 15 seats in the National Assembly. Pastor Richard Andriamanjato Mahitsison was the head of this first term, which lasted five years (1993-1998).

The second term of the National Assembly saw the return of the old regime of the Second Republic. Professor Angel Andrianarisoa assumed the office of President of that institution for a period of four years (1998-2002). The popular 2002 event ended this legislature. As of March 2002, the National Assembly was led by a new president in the person Auguste Paraina. The latter held that position until October 2002. The National Assembly was dissolved on October 16, 2002. Earlier legislative election was held December 15, 2002. A new legislative election gave rise to the third Parliament. Jean Lahiniriko was elected President of the National Assembly. Dismissed by his peers 8 May 2006, the latter ended with his term as head of the Malagasy National Assembly.

Concerning their failure in the 2006 presidential election, the opposition's well-worn explanation describes their disunity as strategic: rather than backing a single candidate, the opposition pushed an "anyone but Ravalomanana" message, intended to ensure that no candidate got a majority of votes and thus forcing a second round - in which opposition parties that didn't make the cut would unite behind one candidate who would then defeat Ravalomanana. As it happened, Ravalomanana conveniently polled 54% in the first round - and the opposition was stewing about it ever since. Rather than clarifying the need to unite, however, this experience hardened their conviction that Ravalomanana had cheated. By 2009 opposition unity, clearly, was not in the cards. They had common grievances: rigged elections, no access to public media, the political and economic monopoly of TIM, etc. Different parties had different "non-negotiables", but most demand Ravalomanana's complete departure from power, equal representation for coastal ethnic groups in government positions, a return to greater budgetary and administrative autonomy for the 22 regions (or 6 former provinces), and equal access to state media.

TGV (of opposition leader Andry Rajoelina) and CRN (organized by former president Albert Zafy) are broader umbrella groups that unite other parties, although TGV has fielded independent candidates under their banner in past elections (including a failed run for mayor of Tamatave in 2007). Many TIM politicians were derided as opportunistic "TIM Pasteques (Watermelons)": green (the color of TIM) on the outside, but red (of previously dominant AREMA, an MTS ally) on the inside - and ready to switch back if the political winds shift.

Theogene Pilaka of the Rassemblement pour l'Avenir de Madagascar (RAM) commanded a good deal more support than his party's electoral success would suggest. RAM was founded in 1998 by Jose Vianey, an ally of Didier Ratsiraka, and at its peak had around 30 mayors and 40 parliamentary deputies in several coastal regions. It was initially in the AREMA camp during the crisis of 2001/02, but withdrew from the conflict by February 2002. It has remained out of electoral politics ever since, but maintains extensive support among students and youth in Atsinanana, Diana (north coast), and Boeny (west coast) regions.

The socio-political events of December 2008 again led the suspension of the National Assembly. The conflict in 2009 was just the latest episode in an eight-year standoff. The main reason the current conflict had not degenerated into ethnic violence (as in 2002) was because the two leaders in Tana are both of Merina ethnicity. Rajoelina was able to keep the focus on human rights, media freedoms, and corruption, whereas a member of any coastal ethic group (but especially a Betsimisaraka from Tamatave, the ethnic group of former President Didier Ratsiraka) would be immediately accused by the GOM of fanning tribal hatreds - with a corresponding backlash against the highland merina residing on the coast.

The Transition Congress began sitting October 13, 2010. It consisted of 256 members appointed during the transition period and is led by its President, Raharinaivo Andrianatoandro. The distribution of members was arrested by agreement between the main political forces in the political agreement Ivato dated August 13, 2010 which was approved by the National Conference of September 2010. The representation of all the Malagasy political class was the objective of this pattern: former MPs belonging to the TIM party, members of AREMA and HPM (Union of political Forces) and other representatives of the forces and civil society. Once again, a touch followed by an expansion was made at the Parliament of the transition following the signing of the famous "Roadmap" adopted by enterprising political parties, various movements and certain forces in the Centre Ivato International Conference. The Decree No. 2011-708 repealing Decree No. 2010-852 of 8 October 2010 appointing the members of the Transitional Congress signed by the President of the Transition, Andry Nirina Rajoelina, confirmed this.

The announcement of final results of the parliamentary elections of 20 December 2013, confirmed by Judgment No. 11-CES / AR 06 February 2014, enabled the National Assembly to resurface again.

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Page last modified: 12-10-2016 19:48:42 ZULU