Madagascar. According to
COUNTRYAAH, Madagascar was hit in February-April by three
difficult cyclones, called Eline, Gloria and Hudah. A few
hundred people perished in the storms, while around 50,000
became homeless. Road networks and electricity supply were
severely damaged, and large coastal areas were submerged.
The devastation exacerbated an already ongoing cholera
epidemic, which in February alone claimed 384 lives. About
half of M's vanilla plantations were destroyed, which will
cost the country more than half a billion SEK. per year in
lost export earnings. Vanilla normally accounts for one
fifth of Madagascar's exports.
Violent rainfall caused floods in March 2005 and caused
major damage to the country's agricultural production. 25
were killed and 58,000 were affected. Over 2600 hectares of
rice fields were destroyed by rain and floods. It increased
the fear that for the second year in a row food would be
lacking in the provinces of Toamasina and Mahajanga. The
country was still marked by the 2004 natural disasters.
In March 2006, the World Bank, together with the IMF and
the African Development Bank (ADB), decided to forgo 13
African countries' foreign debt - including Madagascars. It
happened with effect from 1 July.
In November, General Fidy apparently attempted to conduct
a military coup against Marc Ravalomanana. However, it
subsequently denied Fidy, stating that he had simply called
on the government to resign - without the use of force.
Ravalomanana won the presidential election in December with
54.8% of the vote, thus entering his second presidential
A number of reforms of the Constitution, including
increased the president's power considerably was passed by
75% in a referendum in April 2007. At the September
parliamentary elections, the president's TIM party got 105
out of the 125 seats held.
In January 2009, a series of violent protests began
against President Ravalomanana. The protests were led by
Antananarivo Mayor, Andry Rajoelina. Ravalomanana hit hard
on the protests that over the next two months cost around
170 lives. But along the way, he lost his support in the
military, increasingly orienting itself to the popular
Rajoelina. The conflict ended in March, forcing Ravalomanana
to resign and the presidential post taken over by Rajoelina.
Both the European Union and the African Union refused to
recognize the new regime, as it had not been elected
democratically but deployed with violence. Despite the
diplomatic distance, both the EU and the US continued their
aid programs in the country. As one of its first acts as
president, Rajoelina terminated an agreement the South
Korean Daewoo Logistics had concluded to lease a large
portion of Madagascar's agricultural land. Daewoo wanted to
produce agricultural products for the South Korean market.
Rajoelina declared: "We do not mind working with investors,
but if you want to sell or lease the land it requires a
change of constitution and then the people must be asked."
In August, Rajoelina met former - and exiled - Presidents
Marc Ravalomanana and Didier Ratsiraka, as well as former
President of the Republic of Malagasy Albert Zafy. The
reconciliation meeting between the 4 had former Mozambican
President Joaquim Chissano as a mediator and took place in
In November, a rallying government was inaugurated with
supporters of both the current and ousted president. As part
of the deal, Rajoelina continued on the presidential post,
but there was no room for Ravalomanana.
Following several postponements, a referendum on the new
constitution was held in November 2010. It was adopted with
73% of the votes cast, but the turnout was low - just 52.3%.
The opposition criticized various aspects of the new
constitution. It allowed the head of the Transitional
Council (Rajoelina) to continue in office until a
presidential election could be held, which in turn did not
set a deadline. Rajoelina stated that he had no plans to run
for president, but on the other hand the age limit was
lowered from 40 to 35 years, which would allow him to
change. At the same time, the new constitution required
candidates to have stayed for 6 months in the country before
the election in order to participate. It will exclude more