vendredi 6 juin 2014

The Obstacles and Challenges to Democratic Consolidation in Madagascar (1992-2009) Adrien Ratsimbaharison

Benedict College

May 30, 2014

Madagascar’s 3rd Republic (1992-2009) was classified by Freedom House as "partly free" or electoral democracy. However, instead of moving up to the status of liberal democracy (free), this electoral democracy reverted to an outright autocracy in 2009, when Andry Rajoelina, with the help of the military, overthrew the democratically elected president Marc Ravalomanana. Madagascar’s short-lived democracy reminds us of the importance of democratic consolidation for the new democracies emerging from the "Third Wave" of democratization. The purpose of this article is to identify the major obstacles and challenges to democratic consolidation in a poor and divided country, like Madagascar. Building on Larry Diamond’s three generic tasks of democratic consolidation, this article finds that, instead of consolidating, Madagascar’s electoral democracy actually started to deteriorate in 2002, before its sudden death in 2009; and that, among other factors, the major obstacle to democratic consolidation was the ever-increasing power of the successive presidents, who had been characterized as "Monarchic Presidents." In line with these findings, the major challenge to democratic consolidation in this country is to constrain the presidential power, in order to make the president a "regular citizen," or at least a "first among equal citizens," and not a "father-and-mother of the country."

Number of Pages in PDF File: 35
Keywords: Africa, Madagascar, democratization, democratic consolidation, Marc Ravalomanana, Andry Rajoelina

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