When the international prices of the country’s export products fell in 1980, it triggered an economic crisis that forced the government to take strict measures. Dissatisfaction increased in a number of social sectors and the government responded with repression and the arrest of opposition people, while trying to make its foreign trade more versatile, seek reconciliation with France and begin negotiations with the IMF. Foreign debt reached $ 700 million this year.
In 1982, elections were held, and Ratsiraka was re-elected with 80% of the vote, while the National Movement for the Independence of Madagascar (MONIMA), led by Monja Naoma, got the remaining 20%. According to Countryaah, MONIMA advocated a radicalization of the country’s socialist politics.
In 1988, Raotoarijaona was replaced at the Prime Minister’s post by Lieutenant Colonel Victor Ramahatra. The 1989 election was won by the AREMA ruling party and President Didier Ratsiraka was re-elected with 67.2% of the vote. His program was reformist- oriented, he reintroduced multi-party rule and in March 1990 recruited several of the opposition leaders in his government as ministers.
In 1991, the opposition joined the Living Force Committee (CFV), which consisted of 16 parties. After a series of demonstrations and occupation of the national radio station, the government declared the country in emergency. The committee asked for Ratsiraka to resign and in July appointed a transitional government.
After two transitional government ministers were arrested, in August, 400,000 people went on the streets to once again demand Ratsiraka’s resignation. Authorities hit hard at the demonstration: 31 were killed and 200 injured. Guy Razanamasy was deployed as prime minister, resumed dialogue with the opposition and appointed a “national unity government”.
In March 1992, a multi-party forum was set up to draft a new constitution, and it was decided that presidential elections should be held in August. That same month, the draft constitution was passed by a referendum and Albert Zafy was elected president with 66.2% of the vote against Ratsiraka’s 33.8%.
- AllCityPopulation: Find Madagascar demographics including latest population, life expectancy, age structure, and urbanization.
The country is one of the world’s poorest and its economic and social situation was considered disastrous. The average income per per capita barely increased in the period 1976-92 – it increased from $ 200 to $ 230 annually in fixed prices. At the same time, caloric intake decreased: from 108% of what was needed in 1964-66 to 95% in 1988-90.
In March 1994, the government implemented an economic crisis package designed by the IMF, which further increased social tensions. At the end of the year, mass demonstrations were conducted against the implementation of the crisis package. In January 1995, the Director of National Bank resigned – at the request of the IMF and the World Bank.
In September, the people decided by a referendum to increase Zafy’s powers of power. The debate on the structural adjustment program coincided with a dispute over the use of the country’s natural resources. This controversy was triggered when the multinational mining company RTZ proposed to make an open mine on the country’s southern coast, from which titanium oxide was to be extracted. The project sparked strong protests from militant environmental activists who were convinced that the project would destroy unique species within the country’s flora and fauna.
In May 1996, Parliament passed a distrust agenda against the government, leading to the appointment of a new government. The distrust agenda was among other things. a consequence of comments by IMF Director Michel Camdessus stating that the government’s lack of coherence jeopardized the agreements with the international loan organization.