Madagascar. Political stalemate prevailed all year after the coup that in 2009 brought young Andry Rajoelina to power with the help of the military. According to COUNTRYAAH, Madagascar has a population of 26.26 million (2018). There were obvious tensions within the “High Transitional Authority”, as the coup government calls itself, and in February, the Deputy Prime Minister resigned, frustrated by the isolation that Madagascar ended up in. The African Union (AU), which excluded Madagascar after the coup, introduced sanctions in March Among other things, Rajoelina and a hundred of his closest employees bribed travel bans and frozen their foreign accounts. In June, the EU decided to withhold another € 600 million in aid for another year.
The Minister of Armed Forces was dismissed in April after suspicions that he housed domes. His duties were taken over by the Prime Minister. Shortly thereafter, the chairman of the so-called Government Council, a heavy legal authority, was dismissed, which made a series of decisions contrary to the will of the regime.
What was described as an armed attack on the Prime Minister’s Office aroused the suspicion and was suspected to have been staged by the regime to blame the former President Marc Ravalomanana.
In April, the international mediator, Mozambique’s former President Joaquim Chissano, managed to bring together the four leading political rivals in South Africa in a new attempt to resolve the crisis, but the talks stalled after a short time. Rajoelina continued to plan the country’s future at her own discretion. He entered into an agreement with 99 small parties on the date of a referendum on a new constitution and a timetable for a series of general elections in 2011. In August, he gathered several thousand people to a conference that was said to lay the foundations for the “Fourth Republic”. Critics described his actions as purely maneuvering to keep himself in power.
In connection with the referendum in November, a few dozen soldiers tried to carry out a coup, but they gave up after being called into their place for three days. In the referendum, just over 99 percent of the almost 53 percent who took part said yes to the new constitution, whose main point is that the president’s lowest possible age be lowered from 40 to 35 years. Andry Rajoelina is 36.
The political crisis has hit hard financially against the already poor Madagascar through lack of assistance and reduced trade exchange. The absence of a functioning administration was also reported to have led to rapidly increasing deforestation of the island’s forests, where large areas of precious woods were cut down without obstacles and the timber smuggled out.