Freedom in the World
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Freedom Rating (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Civil Liberties (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Political Rights (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Madagascar’s political rights rating declined from 4 to 6 and its civil liberties rating from 3 to 4 due to President Andry Rajoelina’s unconstitutional rise to power, the suspension of the parliament, the repression of opposition protests, and limitations on press freedom, including the closure of opposition media outlets.
The closure of an opposition media outlet at the end of 2008 touched off months of civil and political unrest in which dozens of demonstrators were killed. Facing intense pressure from the opposition and elements of the military, President Marc Ravalomanana resigned in March 2009 and was replaced by Andry Rajoelina, an opposition leader and mayor of Antananarivo. Rajoelina’s unconstitutional accession to power, suspension of the parliament, and erratic leadership resulted in continued political uncertainty. In August, the various political factions reached a tentative power-sharing accord, but repeated attempts to form a transitional coalition government failed, and Rajoelina abandoned the talks in December.
Madagascar is not an electoral democracy. The undemocratic and unconstitutional manner in which Andry Rajoelinaassumed the presidency in March 2009 demonstrated that the political culture has so far failed to incorporate a rules-based system and the practice of peaceful democratic succession.
Approximately 45 percent of the workforce is female. Malagasy women hold significantly more government and managerial positions than women in continental African countries. However, they still face societal discrimination and enjoy fewer opportunities than men for higher education and employment.