An unelected administration governed Madagascar following a 2009 coup, but the country returned to electoral politics in 2013. Politics since have been unstable, and government corruption and a lack of accountability persist. Defamation and other laws restrict press freedom. Authorities frequently deny permits for demonstrations, and disperse many that take place. The government has struggled to manage lawlessness, particularly in the south. However, the courts have shown increasing independence, and in 2018 issued rulings that calmed an escalating political crisis.