Geographic and Governmental Profile of Madagascar

Background
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.
Location
Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Mozambique
Geographic coordinates
20 00 S, 47 00 E
Continent / Subcontinent
Africa
Area
total:
587,041 sq km
rank:
47
land:
581,540 sq km
water:
5,501 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly less than twice the size of Arizona
Land boundaries
0 km
Coastline
4,828 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
12 nm
contiguous zone:
24 nm
exclusive economic zone:
200 nm
continental shelf:
200 nm or 100 nm from the 2,500-m isobath
Climate
tropical along coast, temperate inland, arid in south
Terrain
narrow coastal plain, high plateau and mountains in center
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point:
Maromokotro 2,876 m
Natural resources
graphite, chromite, coal, bauxite, rare earth elements, salt, quartz, tar sands, semiprecious stones, mica, fish, hydropower
Land use
arable land:
5.03%
permanent crops:
1.02%
other:
93.95% (2005)
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Irrigated land
10,860 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
337 cu km (1984)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
14.96 cu km/yr (3%/2%/96%)
per capita:
804 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
periodic cyclones; drought; and locust infestation
volcanism:
Madagascar's volcanoes have not erupted in historical times
Environment - current issues
soil erosion results from deforestation and overgrazing; desertification; surface water contaminated with raw sewage and other organic wastes; several endangered species of flora and fauna unique to the island
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
world's fourth-largest island; strategic location along Mozambique Channel
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
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
adopted 1959
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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