The sovereign Malagasy people, profoundly attached to their cultural and spiritual values, especially to the basis of national unity; affirming their belief in God the Creator; faithful to their international commitments; adopting the International Charter of Human Rights, the African Charter of Human Rights, the Convention on Children's Rights, and considering these to be an integral part of their law; convinced that the growth of their personality and identity is basic to their harmonious development, the essential conditions of which are recognized to be:
- respect for and protection of fundamental liberties, individual and collective;
- separation and balance of powers to be exercised through democratic procedures;
- openness in the conduct of public affairs as a guarantee of citizen participation in the exercise of power and efficient effective supervision;
- the establishment of a State in which the people and the public officials are subject to the same legal norms under the supervision of an independent judiciary;
- protection of national unity through the implementation of a policy of balanced development in all areas;
- dedication to peace and fraternity;
- struggle against injustice, inequality, and discrimination in all its forms; and
- the application of effective decentralization; declares:
(1) The Malagasy people shall constitute a Nation organized as a sovereign, secular State.
(2) This State shall be a Republic, unique and indivisible, and shall be named "Republic of Madagascar."
(3) Democracy shall be the basis of the Republic. Its sovereignty shall be exercised within the territorial limits recognized by international law.
Article 2 [Territorial Entities, Autonomie]
(1) The Republic of Madagascar shall be organized in decentralized territorial entities whose autonomy shall guaranteed by the Constitution.
(2) These territorial entities shall cooperate with the State developing the national community.
Article 3 [National Territory]
The national territory shall be inalienable.
Article 4 [Motto, Emblem, Anthem, Seals, Coat of Arms, Language]
(1) The Republic of Madagascar shall have for its Motto: "Homeland - Revolution - Liberty".
(2) Its national emblem shall be a tri-colored flag, white, red, and green, consisting of three rectangular bands of equal dimensions. Starting on the edge closest to the flagpole, the first band shall be vertical and white; the other two shall be horizontal, the upper one red and the lower green.
(3) The national anthem shall be: "Oh, Dear Homeland".
(4) The State Seals and Coat of Arms shall be defined by law.
(5) Malagasy shall be the national language.
Article 5 [Capital]
The Capital of the Republic shall be Antananarivo.
Article 6 [Sovereignty, Representation, Electoral Rights]
(1) Sovereignty shall belong to the people, who shall exercise it through their representatives elected by direct or indirect universal suffrage or through a referendum. No faction or individual may usurp the exercise of sovereignty.
(2) All citizens, of both sexes, who possess civil and political rights shall be electors under conditions determined by law.
(3) Electoral status may be removed only by judicial decision.
Article 7 [Rule of Law]
Law shall be the expression of popular will. The law shall be the same for all in protection, in obligation, or in punishment.
Article 8 [Citizen Equality, No Discrimination]
(1) Citizens shall be equal under the law, enjoying the same fundamental liberties protected by law.
(2) The State shall prohibit all discrimination based on sex, education, wealth, origin, race, religion, or opinion.
Article 9 [Rule of Law]
The exercise and protection of individual rights and fundamental liberties shall be organized by law.
Article 10 [Expression, Association, Assembly, Move, Religion] Freedom of opinion and expression, communication, press, association, assembly, travel, conscience, and religion shall be guaranteed to all and may be limited only in respect of the rights and liberties of others and of the necessity to safeguard public order.
Article 11 [Information]
(1) Information in all forms shall be subject to no prior restraint.
(2) Conditions of freedom of information and its responsibility shall be determined by law and by codes of professional ethics.
Article 12 [Leave, Travel, Settle]
(1) Everyone shall have the right to leave the territory and to return under conditions established by law.
(2) Everyone shall have the right to travel and to settle freely within the territory of the Republic while respecting the rights of others and the limits of the law.
Article 13 [Liberty, Home, Communication, Nulla Poena Sine Lege, Legal Recourse, Counsel]
(1) Everyone shall be assured of protection of his person, his residence, and his correspondence.
(2) No search may take place except under law on the written order of the competent judicial authority, except in cases of flagrante delicto.
(3) No one may be prosecuted, arrested, or detained except in cases determined by law, according to the forms prescribed by law.
(4) No one may be punished except by virtue of a law promulgated and published prior to the commission of the act to be punished.
(5) No one may be punished twice for the same deed.
(6) The law shall assure everyone access to justice; lack of resources will not be no obstacle.
(7) The State shall guarantee full, inviolable rights of defense in all jurisdictions and all stages of procedure, including the preliminary investigation, Judicial police, and court.
Article 14 [Association, Political Parties]
(1) Citizens may organize freely without prior authorization in associations and political parties; however, associations or political parties which preach totalitarianism or segregation of an ethnic, tribal, or religious nature are forbidden.
(2) The law shall establish conditions for the creation and functioning of associations and political parties.
Article 15 [Eligibility, Electoral Rights]
Every citizen shall have the right to be a candidate in the elections provided for in this Constitution, without discrimination based on membership in a political party, under conditions established by law.
Article 16 [Duty to Respect the Laws]
Within the limits of the democratic liberties recognized by this Constitution, everyone shall have the duty to respect the Constitution, institutions, laws, and regulations of the Republic.
Section II Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Duties
The structure of the State shall include: - the executive power, consisting of the President of the Republic and the Government;
- the legislative power, formed by the National Assembly and the Senate;
- the judicial power, exercised by the Administrative and Financial Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal, Tribunals, and the High Court of Justice.
Article 42 [Remuneration]
The law shall determine the amount, the conditions, an the method of payment of the salaries to individuals elected to fulfill the duties or carry out the functions provided for in this Constitution.
Article 43 [No Corruption]
(1) No one called to carry out an office under this Constitution may accept presents or remuneration, except for his official salary, from any person or corporation domestic or foreign, under penalty of dismissal.
(2) The application of these provisions shall be determined by law.
Article 44 [Presidential Office]
The President of the Republic shall be the Head of State. As "Ray aman-dreny" he shall assure respect for the Constitution. He is responsible for the regular functioning of public powers; he shall be responsible for national independence and territorial integrity and shall assure protection of, and respect for, national sovereignty within national territory and abroad; he shall be the symbol of national unity.
Article 45 [Election, Term, Re-election]
The President of the Repllblic shall be elected by universal direct suffrage for a five-year term. He may be re-elected for one additional term.
Article 46 [Eligibility, Resignation, Candidacy]
(1) All candidates for the office of President of the Republic must possess all civil and political rights and must be at least 40 years old at the time the candidacy is declared.
(2) To become a candidate, the President then in office must resign one day before the beginning of the electoral campaign.
(3) Other conditions for candidacy shall he established by law.
Article 47 [Second Ballot]
(1) The election for President of the Republic shall take place, upon convocation of the Government, no less than thirty days and no more than sixty days before the expiration of the term of the President of the Republic then in office.
(2) The election shall be by a majority of the votes on the first ballot. If this is not obtained, the President of the Republic shall be elected on the second ballot by plurality of one of the two candidates having received the greatest number of votes on the first ballot.
Article 48 [Oath]
Before assuming office, the President of the Republic shall swear the following oath before the Nation and in the presence of the National Assembly, the Senate, and the Constitutional Court, specially convened: "###"
Article 49 [Incompatibilities]
The office of President of the Republic shall be incompatible with any other elective public office, any other professional activity, and any activity within a political party or group of political parties.
Article 50 [Permanent Incapacity]
The permanent incapacity of the President of the Republic may be declared by the Constitutional Court following a resolution adopted by not less than two-thirds of the deputies in the National Assembly; for violation of the Constitution; and for any other cause duly stated and proved resulting in his permanent incapacity to exercise his duties.
Article 51 [Temporary Incapacity]
(1) The temporary incapacity of the President of the Republic may be declared by the Constitutional Court following a resolution adopted by at least a two-thirds majority of the deputies in the National Assembly.
(2) Removal of temporary incapacity shall be decided by the Constitutional Court. Temporary incapacity may not exceed a period of three months, after which permanent incapacity must be declared by the Constitutional Court.
Article 52 [Replacement]
(1) In case of vacancy, permanent incapacity or temporary incapacity, the duties of the President of the Republic shall be temporarily exercised by the President of the Senate.
(2) In case of vacancy or perrnanent incapacity, the election of the new President shall take place within the period provided for in Article 47.
Article 53 [Appointment of Prime Minister and Ministers]
(1) The President of the Republic shall appoint the Prime Minister under the conditions established in Article 90.
(2) Following the appointment of the Prime Minister, he shall appoint the other members of the Government, and may terminate their duties.
Article 54 [President and Government]
(1) The President shall preside over the Council of Ministers.
(2) He shall sign ordinances of the Council of Ministers in the cases and conditions provided for by this Constitution
(3) He shall sign the decrees debated in the Council of Ministers.
Article 55 [Head of Military]
(1) The President shall be the Supreme Head of the Armed Forces; he shall preside over the Superior Council of National Defense whose organization and duties shall be established by law. He shall declare defense policy in the Superior Council of National Defense, within general State policy.
(2) He shall decide upon the commitment of armed forces and resources in foreign interventions, after consulting the Superior Council of National Defense, the Council of Ministers, and the Parliament.
(3) He shall appoint military officials to represent the Malagasy State in international agencies.
Article 56 [Competences]
(1) The President of the Republic shall accredit and recall ambassadors and envoys extraordinary of the Republic of Madagascar to foreign States and international organizations.
(2) He shall receive credentials and requests for recall from States and international organizations recognized by the Republic of Madagascar.
(3) He shall negotiate and ratify treaties. He shall be informed of all negotiations leading to the conclusion of an international agreement which is not submitted for ratification.
(4) He shall make appointments through the Council of Ministers to high offices of the State; he may delegate this power to the Prime Minister.
(5) He may refer matters directly, if needed, to administrative agencies.
(6) He shall have the right of pardon.
(7) He shall confer the decorations of the Republic of Madagascar.
Article 57 [Promulgation of Laws, Request for Reconsideration]
(1) The President of the Republic shall promulgate laws within two weeks following transmittal to him of laws adopted by the National Assembly. This period may be reduced to five days in an emergency declared by the National Assembly.
(2) He may, before the expiration of this period, ask the National Assembly to reconsider the law or certain articles of the law.
(3) In the absence of promulgation within the period provided, the President of the Senate may substitute for the President of the Republic.
Article 58 [Dissolution of Parliament]
The President of the Republic may dissolve the National Assembly at the request of the Council of Ministers under the terms of Article 95.
Article 59 [State of Emergency, Martial Law]
(1) The President of the Republic, meeting with the Council of Ministers, with the agreement of the Presidents of the National Assembly, the Senate, and the Constitutional Court, may proclaim a state of emergency or martial law for the defense of the Republic, for public order, or for State security, as circumstances require.
(2) The proclamation of a state of emergency shall confer special powers on the President of the Republic; their extent and duration shall be specified by law.
Article 60 [Countersignature]
Acts of the President of the Republic shall be countersigned by the Prime Minister and the Ministers responsible for executing them.
Section II Government
Article 66 [Title, Election, Term]
(1) The members of the National Assembly shall have the title of Deputies of Madagascar.
(2) They shall be elected by direct universal suffrage for four-year terms.
Article 67 [Parliamentary Incompatibilities, No Directed Votes]
(1) The office of deputy shall be incompatible with the exercise of any other public employment, except education, and with any other elective public office.
(2) A deputy who is appointed member of the Government shall automatically resign the office of deputy.
(3) All directed votes shall be null and void.
Article 68 [Law on Election]
The law shall establish the number of members of the National Assembly, the distribution of seats throughout the national territory, as well as electoral districts and voting procedures. The law shall also establish conditions of eligibility, regulation of ineligibility and dismissal, as well as conditions for the election of persons replacing deputies in case of vacancy, until the next Assembly election.
Article 69 [Indemnity, Immunity, Control]
(1) No deputy may be prosecuted, investigated, arrested, detained, or judged for opinions and votes cast by him in the exercise of his duties.
(2) For the duration of legislative sessions, no deputy may be prosecuted or arrested in a criminal or correctional matter, without the authorization of the bureau of the Assembly, except in case of flagrante delicto.
(3) Outside of legislative sessions, no deputy may be arrested without the authorization of the bureau of the Assembly, except in case of flagrante delicto, authorized prosecution, or final conviction.
(4) Anyone may bring to the attention of the National Assembly the acts or omissions of a deputy. The permanent bureau must furnish a prompt response.
Article 70 [President and Bureau of the Assembly]
The President of the National Assembly and members of the bureau shall he elected at the beginning of the first session for the duration of the legislature. However, they may be replaced when necessary by a vote of two-thirds of the deputies.
Article 71 [Sessions]
The National Assembly shall meet officially in two ordinary sessions per year. The length of each session may not be less than sixty days nor more than ninety days. The first session shall begin on the first Tuesday in May, and the second, devoted principally to the adoption of the budget, on the last Tuesday in September.
Article 72 [Extraordinary Sessions]
(1) The National Assembly shall meet in extraordinary session with an established agenda, upon the initiative of the President of the Republic and the order of the Council of Ministers, or called by the President of the Council of Ministers at the request of one-third of its members.
(2) The duration of the session may not exceed twelve days. However, closure may be declared as soon as the National Assembly has covered the agenda for which it has been convened.
Article 73 [Publicity]
(1) Sessions of the National Assembly shall be public. A record shall be kept and publicized under conditions provided for by law.
(2) The National Assembly may meet in closed session at the request of the Government or of one-fourth of its members.
Article 74 [First Session]
The new National Assembly shall meet officially in a special session on the second Tuesday following the proclamation of election results, to constitute its bureau and to choose the new Prime Minister. The session shall end after the installation or the naming of the new Prime Minister.
Article 75 [Procedural Rules]
The procedural rules of the National Assembly shall be established as general principles by law, and in specific terms by internal regulation.
Section II Senate
Article 76 [Title, Term]
Members of the Senate shall have the title of Senator of Madagascar. Their term of office shall be four years.
Article 77 [Election, Appointment, Nomination, Incompatibility]
(1) Two-thirds of the Senate shall consist of an equal number of members elected in each electoral district by elected representatives of the territorial entities, and one-third shall consist of members representing economic, social, cultural, and religious groups appointed by the President of the Republic upon nomination by legally constituted organizations and groups.
(2) The office of Senator shall be incompatible with that of deputy.
Article 78 [Re-election]
One-half of the Senate, in both categories, shall be eligible for re-election every two years. Its procedural rules, compensation, and means of designating its members shall be established by law.
Article 79 [Competences]
The Senate shall examine public and private bills; it must be consulted by the Government on economic, social, and territorial questions.
Article 80 [Sessions]
(1) The Senate shall meet during sessions of the National Assembly. (2) It may also meet in special session at the request of the Government. In that case, its agenda shall be limited by the Government.
(3) When the National Assembly is not in session, the Senate may only discuss questions upon which the Government has consulted it, to the exclusion of legislative bills.
Article 81 [Applicable Provisions]
The provisions of Articles 68, 69, 70, 71, 73, and 75 shall be applicable to the Senate.
Section III Legislative Function, Relations With
Article 97 [Courts]
In the Republic of Madagascar, justice shall be rendered in conformity with the Constitution and the law in the name of the Malagasy people, by the Administrative and Financial Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal, Tribunals, and the High Court of Justice.
Article 98 [Independence]
The judicial power shall be independent of the executive and legislative powers. The Administrative and Financial Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court shall assure this independence.
Article 99 [Personal Independence]
(1) Magistrates, judges, and assessors shall be independent in all their judicial activities and shall be answerable only to the Constitution and the law.
(2) To this end, with the exception of cases provided for by law and disciplinary power, they may not be hindered in any way in the exercise of their duties; they may not be called to account for decisions they render or in which they participate.
Article 100 [Protection of Magistrates]
Bench magistrates shall not be transferable; they shall occupy the post appropriate to their rank; they may not be reassigned, without their consent, except in case of necessity duly declared by the Superior Council of the Bench.
Article 101 [Public Prosecutor's Magistrates]
Magistrates in the Public Prosecutor's office shall be organized by rank; however, in their conclusions or indictments, they shall act according to their own convictions and in conformity with the law. They shall supervise the judicial police, which shall be at their disposal.
Article 102 [Magistratorial Incompatibilities]
The duties of magistrate shall be incompatible with any activity within a political party, public office, or any other remunerated professional activity.
Article 103 [General Inspection of Justice]
(1) The office of General Inspection of Justice, consisting of representatives from Parliament, the Government, and the magistrates, shall be responsible for supervising the regulation of magistrates, as well as the actions of judicial personnel.
(2) This office shall be connected to the Supreme Court.
(3) The President of the Republic, the Parliament, the Government, heads of court, legally constituted associations, and any individual may refer matters to the office of General Inspection of Justice.
(4) Rules regarding the organization, functions, and duties of the office of General Inspection of Justice shall be established.
Article 104 [National Council of Justice]
(1) The National Council of Justice, a consultative body consisting of the First President of the Supreme Court (as President), the General Prosecutor of the Supreme Court, the heads of the Courts of Appeal, representatives of the executive and legislative power, the Administrative and Financial Constitutional Court, the Superior Council of Magistrates, and auxiliaries, may make recommendations to improve the general functioning of justice. To this end, they may propose to the Government legislation or regulatory measures dealing with the organization and duties of judges, magistrates, and auxiliaries.
(2) Rules regarding the organization and duties of the National Council of Justice shall be established by law.
Section II Administrative and Financial Constitutional
Section III Supreme Court
Section IV High Court of Justice
The decentralized territorial entities, endowed with legal identity and financial autonomy, shall constitute the institutional framework for citizen participation in the management of public affairs and shall guarantee the expression of their diversity and individuality.
Article 126 [Creation]
(1) The creation of territorial entities must meet criteria of geographical, economic. social, and cultural homogeneity.
(2) The name, number, and limits of territorial entities shall be determined by law.
Article 127 [Assemblies]
Territorial entities shall be freely administered by Assemblies which shall deliberate on matters devolving to their jurisdiction by this Constitution and by law. These deliberations shall take effect upon publication. However, they may not conflict with constitutional, legislative, or regulatory provisions.
Article 128 [Local Elections]
(1) Members of the Assemhlies shall be elected by direct universal suffrage for a four-year term.
(2) These Assemblies shall include, in part, representatives of legally constituted economic, social, and cultural bodies within the jurisdiction of the territorial entity. These representatives shall also be elected by direct universal suffrage.
(3) The methods of election to the Assemblies of territorial entities shall be established by law.
Article 129 [Executive Bureau]
(1) The implementation of decisions made in the Assemblies shall be assured by an executive bureau directed by an official elected by direct universal suffrage for a four-year term; he may be re-elected once. The executive bureau shall consist of the leaders of the public services created and financed by the territorial entity or put at its disposal by the State. These members shall be appointed by the elected leader.
(2) The executive bureau shall be answerable to the elected Assembly.
Article 130 [High Official, Control, Public Order]
(1) The State shall be represented in the territorial entities by a high official whose appointment shall be established by law. The State representative shall be responsible for assuring adherence to legislative and regulatory provisions. He shall refer to the appropriate judicial authority any deliberations, actions, or agreements deemed illegal.
(2) The State representative shall be responsible for public order and administration under conditions established by law. He shall be the representative of all Ministries and shall supervise State services in the territorial entities.
Article 131 [Shared Competences]
The State shall be committed to the establishment of the following:
- distribution of jurisdictions between the territorial entities and the State;
- distribution of revenue between the territorial entities and the State; and
- distribution of public services between the territorial entities and the State.
Article 132 [Local Tasks]
(1) The territorial entities shall assure, with the cooperation of the State, public safety, the administration and management of territorial, economic, social, sanitary, cultural, and scientific development, as well as protection of the environment and improvement in the standard of living.
(2) The distribution of jurisdictions, considering national and local interests, shall be determined by law.
Article 133 [Local Finances]
(1) The distribution of resources, based on jurisdictions granted to the territorial entities, shall be determined by law.
(2) The territorial entities shall establish and manage the budget, its functioning, and its investment, in harmony with national planning.
Article 134 [Local Resources]
The resources of territorial entities shall consist of:
- the proceeds of taxes voted by the Assemblies of the territorial entities and levied for their budgets; the law shall establish the nature and maximum rate of these taxes, taking into account expenses assumed by the territorial entities and national expenses;
- their share in the proceeds of taxes levied for the State budget. This pro rata share shall be determined by law according to a percentage which takes into account the expenses assumed individually and collectively by the territorial entities and the level of their own resources, in order to assure fair and equal treatment of the territorial entities and a balanced economic and social development among all territorial entities. The utilization of its share shall be freely determined by each territorial collectivity;
- the proceeds of endowments granted by the State to the territorial entities, as a whole or in part, to meet expenses resulting from the transfer of jurisdictions, or to compensate territorial entities for expenses resulting from particular programs or projects mandated by the State and implemented by the territorial entities;
- the proceeds of loans contracted by the territorial entities in the national or foreign market, with the agreement of national monetary authorities, with or without guaranty by the State;
- the proceeds of foreign aid obtained through the national monetary authorities and the ministerial department responsible for foreign relations;
- the proceeds of gifts; and
- revenue from territorial land.
Article 135 [Local Funds, Public Treasury]
Funds of territorial entities whose use falls within their jurisdiction shall be deposited in the public treasury under conditions provided for by law.
Article 136 [New Local Entities]
Regional and local administrative districts and structures may be created by decree in the Council of Ministers.
Article 137 [Organizational Laws]
Rules regarding the organization, functioning, and duties of territorial entities shall be established by law.
The initiative to amend the Constitution shall be vested either with the President of the Republic acting in the Council of Ministers or with the National Assembly upon the proposal of one-third of its members.
Article 139 [Majority]
The bill or proposal for amendment shall be adopted only by a three-fourths majority of the members of the National Assembly and the Senate.
Article 140 [Facultative Referendum]
The President of the Republic acting in the Council of Ministers may submit the amendment to a referendum.
Article 141 [Obligatory Referendum]
The Preamble and Titles I, II, III, and VII may be amended only by means of referendum.
Article 142 [Republic]
The republican form of the State shall not be subject to amendment.
Until the institutions provided for in this Constitution are established, those provided for by the Convention of 31 Oct 1991 shall continue in effect, with the exception of the provisions which follow.
Article 144 [First Presidential Elections]
(1) Presidential elections must take place not later than sixty days from the date of the official proclamation by the High Court of Justice of the results of the national referendum adopting this Constitution.
(2) The elected President shall immediately exercise the duties devolving on the President of the Republic by the terms of the Convention of 31 Oct 1991 and those provided for in this Constitution. Before taking office, he shall swear the oath provided for in Article 48 before the nation and the transitional High Constitutional Court.
Article 145 [First Legislative Elections, Transitional Offices]
(1) Legislative elections must take place not later than two months after the proclamation of the results of the Presidential elections.
(2) The High Authority of the State and the Council on Economic Recovery shall terminate their duties upon the election of the bureau of the National Assembly.
(3) Upon the appointment of the new Prime Minister, the transitional Prime Minister shall present to the President of the Republic the resignation of the Government; this Government shall continue to be responsible for current business until the installation of the new Government.
(4) The National Assembly shall exercise full legislative power until the installation of the Senate.
Article 146 [Transitional Courts]
Until the institutions of the Third Republic are installed, the present High
Constitutional Court and Supreme Court shall continue to exercise their duties in conformity with the legislation in effect.
Article 147 [Old Laws]
With the exception of future modifications, legislation in effect in the Republic shall remain applicable in all provisions which do not conflict with those of this Constitution.
Article 148 [Transition to Local Entities]
(1) Legislative provisions regarding territorial entities provided for in this Constitution must be implemented not later than eighteen months from the date of its promulgation. A commission will be created for this purpose.
(2) Until the installation of the territorial entities provided for in this Constitution, the Special Delegations and Local Security Committees will continue to exercise their present duties.
Article 149 [Date of Effect]
This law will take effect upon promulgation by the transitional Prime Minister and will be published in the Official Journal of the Republic. It will be executed as the Constitution of the Republic of Madagascar.