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Madagascar President - Marc Ravalomanana - 2002-2009

Marc Ravalomanana was born on 12 December 1949 Imerinkasinina (Highlands, 25 km east of Antananarivo). In 1982 he started in the small family food business. It creates in this area his company TIKO, (with the help of a loan from the World Bank). He also set up a radio station and a chain of private television (MBS "Malagasy Broadcasting System") ., and a bilingual newspaper ( "the Daily"). Married since 1974 to Lalao Rakotonirainy, he has a daughter and three son: the eldest Sarrah RAVALOMANANA then Josoa Ravalomanana who was a student at the University of Heidelberg (Germany ), the youngest, Tojo Ravalomanana student at the University of Brighton (UK), and the youngest, Mike Tsana RAVALOMANANA, a student at the American School of Antananarivo. He mainly studied in religious schools. Very religious, even from his youth (he was a member of a choir and made the catechism), this Protestant church FJKM of which he is also the vice president of the National Office.

On November 14, 1999 Marc Ravalomanana ran in local elections under his own banner "Tiako Iarivo". He took the seat Mayor of Antananarivo with 45% of votes. On December 16, 2001 he was a candidate in the presidential elections, he managed to have the support of many small parties grouped in the KMMR (Support Committee Marc Ravalomanana) the disputed results of the first round will be at the origin of one of the most serious political crises in the country's history but his election was finally confirmed by a recount of the High Constitutional Court in April 2002, with 51, 46% of the vote.

On May 6, 2002: Marc Ravalomanana is invested President of the Republic, and in June 2002 he founded his own party, the TIM (Tiako i Madagasikara). After the end of the 2002 political crisis, President Ravalomanana began many reform projects, advocating "rapid and durable development" and launching a battle against corruption. December 2002 legislative elections gave his newly formed TIM (Tiako-i-Madagasikara -- I Love Madagascar) Party a commanding majority in the National Assembly. November 2003 municipal elections were conducted freely, returning a majority of supporters of the president, but also significant numbers of independent and regional opposition figures.

In the presidential election held on December 3, 2006, Marc RAVALOMANANA won the re-election to the presidency in the first round with 55 percent of the vote. During his second term, opposition leaders began to criticize RAVALOMANANA for increasing corruption and authoritarianism.

In January 2009, Andry RAJOELINA, the mayor of Antananarivo, attempted to unconstitutionally remove RAVALOMANANA from office. Protests against the actions of RAVALOMANANA became widespread, following defense forces shooting at protestors attempting to enter the presidential palace, killing 30 people.

Ravalomanana's final days were obviously a roller coaster ride with extreme highs and lows. Poorly advised and increasily isolated, he was consistently weeks behind in perceiving accurately the state of affairs, and the extent of his power, beyond his remote palace walls. Periodic weak showings by TGV supporters at the public square were translated to him as lost steam. Even after the military mutinied on 08 March 2009 and its chain of command broke down completely, Ravalomanana appeared to continue to harbor illusions about surviving in power.

Following weeks of tension, the military seized the presidential palace, and RAVALOMANANA resigned. His after-the-fact assertion that the military directly coerced him into transfering his authority to a senior military figure, who in turn purported to confer the presidency on opposition leader Andry Rajoelina, does not hold up to even simple scrutiny: there were no signs of military having entered the palace on March 17 and the palace gates at that point were blocked by crowds of his supporters. Additionally, if it was a coerced act, why would the coercers have permitted him to sign a document that they angrily repudiated immediately afterwards when diplomats informed them of his act? While of course military pressure indirectly contributed to his departure, it is far more likely that Ravalomanana signed his ordinance intentionally to leave an unconstitutional, ungovernable situation in his wake.

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Page last modified: 13-10-2016 19:38:27 ZULU