What Type Of Government Does Madagascar Have?

The Madagascar flag.
The Madagascar flag.

Madagascar is an island nation located off the coast of Southeast Africa in the Indian Ocean. The country is made of the main island of Madagascar and several peripheral islands. Since independence from France in 1960, Madagascar has had a volatile political environment. The country has suffered military coups, disputed elections, widespread unrest and even an assassination of the President. Its constitution has been revised throughout the years to what it is currently. Madagascar is a democratic republic with a semi-presidential system of government whereby executive powers are shared between the President and the Prime Minister. Additionally, Madagascar is a multi-party state.

The Executive Branch Of The Government Of Madagascar

The Executive is comprised of the President, the Prime minister, and cabinet ministers. The President represents national unity and is the most powerful official in the country. Also, the President is in charge of foreign policy. Madagascar’s President is elected by the public for a term of five years. The President is allowed a maximum of two terms. The national assembly nominates a Prime Minister from one of their own, and the president approves the nomination. Subsequently, the Prime Minister recommends cabinet ministers to the President who approves the nominees. The President and the Prime Minister work in close collaboration with the President being Chief of State and the Prime Minister being the head of the government. The current President, Hery Rajaonarimampianina was elected in December 2013, and he appointed Jean Ravelonarivo as the Prime Minister.

The Legislative Arm Of The Madagascar Government

Madagascar allows for a bicameral parliament made of the National Assembly and Senate. The National Assembly consists of 160 representatives elected from single-member and two-member constituencies. The representatives are elected for four-year terms. Senate is made of 33 members. Out of the 33 members, 22 are elected by local community officials while the President appoints 11 members. Both the Senate and the National Assembly are in charge of making laws that govern Madagascar.

The Judiciary

The Judiciary in Madagascar is independent of the Executive Office and Legislative members. It consists of the Supreme Court, the High Court of Justice, Court of Appeal, and the criminal tribunal. Supreme Court judges are appointed by the President in conjunction with judicial officials. The Judiciary is charged with adjudicating crimes and misbehavior by residents of Madagascar including government officials.

Administrative Territories Of Madagascar

Madagascar is further divided into 22 administrative territories. The territories are sub-divided into 119 districts. The districts are further sub-divided into over 1500 communes. These sub-divisions enable local communities to participate in the governance of the country. Power is decentralized from the central government down to the communes. Leaders of the commune are elected from among members of the community. The communes are in charge of their own economic, cultural, and social development. Regular meetings are held within the communes where the leaders give speeches as their subordinates quietly listen.

Madagascar’s system of governance is widely borrowed from the French government. Madagascar was a French colony until its independence in 1960. Even after independence, France maintained significant control over Madagascar and influenced the country’s system of governance. All Madagascar citizens above 18 years are eligible to vote, and elected officials must be 21 years and above.


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