Summary Madagascar Political Crisis Timeline

Below is a rough timeline of events leading up to the current political crisis. Click on the most current date for a more detailed explanation of what’s going on this week.

Short version | Long version


January 21: In light his decision to not run in 2013, Rajoelina announces in Toamasina that he will run for president in 2018. 

January 15: Rajoelina announces he will not run in presidential elections in May but calls for legislative elections to precede prudential elections. 


December 18: Rajoelina travels to France [in lieu of to Dar-es-Salam] to meet with the French foreign minister and other government officials. 

December 10: After meeting in Dar-es-Salam, the SADC resolves that neither Rajoelina nor Ravalomanana should participate in elections. 

August 1: Presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled for May 8 and July 3 respectively. 

July 25-26: Rajoelina and Ravalomanana meet in Seychelles and agree to meet again in a few days. 

July 22: There is a mutiny at the Ivato military base housing Intervention Forces Regiment. Radio Free FM broadcasts  

May 31: The National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa announces it will investigate Ravalomanana for crimes against humanity relating to the February 7, 2009 massacre in Antaninarenina square. 

April 4: New amnesty legislation specifies exceptions for murderers allowing a continued block of Ravalomanana’s return. 

January 24: Lawmakers from Ravalomanana’s camp, including his top aide and leader of the Transitional Congress, boycott the parliament on opening day. 


November 24: Exiled leader Didier Ratsiraka returns to Madagascar after nine years. 

November 21: A new government is named four days past the Road Map deadline. Ravalomanana’s camp rejects the new government because the PM didn’t come from a different party than Rajoelina as required by the Road Map. 

September 17: Following international pressure, the Road Map is signed by all but one party including that of Rajoelina and Ravalomanana. The signed Road Map requires that exiled leaders be allowed to return before elections to be held one year later. 

June 11-12: SADC leaders approve Road Map pending unspecified amendments and urge Andry Rajoelina to allow exiled political leaders to return. Andry rebuffs SADC and pursues original Road Map drafted in Ivato by Chissano.

June 6­-7: SADC convenes a meeting to consult with eleven political parties in Gaborone to regarding the crisis and the proposed Road Map. 

March 16: Rajoelina reappoints Camille Vital as Prime Minister of new transitional government. One opposition group rejected the move.

March 9: Eight major political parties sign the road map but the three main opposition parties do not.

January 31: SADC delegation presents a road map for ending the political crisis, which spells out some key aspects of the transition. | Madagascar Tribune | Radio Netherlands Worldwide | Crisis Group


December 6: Madagascar’s constitutional court announced November 17 referendum results with 75% voting yes at a turnout of 52%.

November 17: Dissident soldiers attempt a coup on the same day. Terra Daily | | Reuters

May 20: Security forces clash with a dissident military faction and protestors from the HMF religiously based opposition group. An FJKM pastor was fatally shot and two others were arrested in conjunction with the incident. |

April 30: Two days of talks stall over amnesty for Ravalomanana and a timetable for elections and are scheduled to resume two weeks later.

March 17: AU enacts sanctions on Madagascar.


December 23: U.S. President Barack Obama terminates trade benefits for Madagascar.

December 3: Opposition leaders go to Mozambique for more talks with lead mediator Joaquim Chissano. Rajoelina boycotts them.

September 4: Rajoelina unilaterally names Monja Roindefo as prime minister. Days later Roindefo forms a government which African nations are quick to reject.

August 9: Island’s power-brokers sign initial power-sharing deal in Mozambique’s capital Maputo.

June 3: Ravalomanana sentenced in absentia to four years in jail for abuse of office.

May 8: IMF freezes Madagascar aid.

-May 2009 to February 2010 taken from Reuters

March 30: The Southern African Development Community (Sadc) suspend Madagascar’s membership on the 15-member body and calls on Rajoelina to vacate the presidency.

March 21: Rajoelina is formally installed as president of Madagascar.

March 18: The military in turn, hands power to Rajoelina. He pledges to hold elections within two years. Madagascar’s constitutional court issues a statement endorsing the takeover.

March 17: Ravalomanana announces through a presidential spokesman that he has handed over control of the country to Hyppolite Ramaroson, a navy admiral and the most senior military official. [This is rumored to have happened at the point of a gun.]

March 16: Rajoelina calls on the security forces to arrest Ravalomanana. Madagascan troops seize the presidential palace compound and central bank in capital Antananarivo, and impose a curfew.

March 15: Ravalomanana offers to hold a referendum to resolve the standoff between his government and opposition protesters. [This is rebuffed by Rajoelina.]

March 11: General Rasolofomahandry is sacked as army chief and replaced by Andre Andriarijaona after “negotiations” among senior military officers.

February 7: At least 28 people are killed and hundreds injured when police open fire on a protest in Antananarivo [after Rajoelina calls on the crowd to march on the presidential palace]. Rajoelina accuses the government of murdering civilians.

January 31: Rajoelina proclaims himself in-charge of the country.

January 27-28: The charred remains of at least 37 people are found in a shop in Madagascar after it was burned and looted following the anti-government rally [led by Rajoelina].

January 26: Violent demonstrations break out in the capital, Antananarivo. A teenager and a policeman are killed when protesters burn state-owned television and radio stations.


December 2008: Viva TV – owned by opposition leader Andry Rajoelina – is shut down by authorities after airing an interview with Didier Ratsiraka, Madagascar’s exiled former president.

December 2008 to March 2009 taken from Aljazeera

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