Madagascar. In March, a referendum was held on constitutional amendments that would give the president increased power, and strengthen the regional power of the country’s six provinces. The opposition, fearing that President Didier Ratsiraka would use the referendum to legitimize the introduction of dictatorship, called for a boycott of it. According to Countryaah, the capital of Madagascar is Antananarivo. Voter turnout was about 70%, noticeably lower than in both the 1992 referendum, when the military dictatorship was abolished, and in the last presidential election in 1996. The constitutional changes were approved by a scarce margin.
In the May parliamentary elections, confusion arose in many polling stations when voters became aware that they had 400 parties and countless independent candidates to choose from, a total of 4,000 people who fought for Parliament’s 150 seats. Not until July did the President appoint the new Prime Minister, 44-year-old Tantely Andrianarivo, who until then was Deputy Prime Minister in charge of finance.