Richard Ratsimandrava (March 21st 1931, Tananarive - February 11th 1975, Tananarive) is a Malagasy politician.

He was the 3rd President of the République of Madagascar, a function which he will provide only 6 days following his tragedy assassination of the February 11th 1975.


Born the March 21st 1931 with Tananarive, of a family Merina, Richard Ratsimandrava leaves Madagascar for the France in order to carry out its higher learning there. After a preparation with the Cornice (military) Carnot of Dijon, it integrates the military special École of Saint-Cyr military school. It will carry the colors of the French Army to the Morocco and in Algérie.

In 1959, whereas it is Colonel in the French Army, it is affected with Madagascar with the 12th battalion of marines to Fianarantsoa, Madagascar. After the Malagasy independence of the June 26th 1960, Ratsimandrava is useful as officer of the Army until 1962.

Transferred in the gendarmerie, it carries out a training course with the École of the officers of the national police to Melun, (France) and becomes in 1957 second in command then finally ordering Malagasy gendarmerie in 1959. Rastimandrava will remain at this station until 1972 and, for this reason, will order violent repression against the country insurrection directed by Monja Jaona in April 1971 in the South of the island.

Its introduction in policy

When Gabriel Ramanantsoa becomes Prime Minister of Tsiranana in 1972, Ratsimandrava has to become Minister of Interior Department of the new government. It has then the idea to base its interior policy on the doctrines of the " Fokonolona " that he sees as only institutional and economic framework possible for development of Madagascar.

The February 5th 1975, vis-a-vis the political crisis situation, the general Ramanantsoa gives the full powerss to him. It then cumulates the president's functions of the Republic, Prime Minister, Minister for National defense and the Plan. It is then an occasion without precedent for him as well as possible to apply its policy which is established on:

  • a national development by the " Fokonolona ",

  • the malgachisation of the economy without inequalities,
  • devolution.

Its assassination

The February 11th 1975 -- that is to say exactly 6 days after its accession with the supreme office -- in the 20 hour old neighborhoods, to have shortly after left the Council of Ministers which proceeded in Anosy, Tananarive, Ratsimandrava is cut down by balls in its company car by a trained commando of elements of the mobile group of police force (GMP).

The theses of the political assassination were immediately consolidated by the fact that the GMP led the attack. Former President Tsiranana was heard by Malagasy justice and was the subject of investigations.

In spite of the long lawsuit which will proceed under the military directory of transition directed by the Général Andriamahazo, no light will be made on the assassination of this man that too many lobbies, in particular financial, could wish to see disappearing, fearing to see their interests strongly called in question because of the policy of the " Fokonolona " preached by Ratsimandrava which aimed has to nationalize the economy and the Malagasy production.

In fine, the lawsuit of the Ratsimandrava business will stop for sauvagarder the national unit of the country, weakened already enough at this period.

Political consequences

The assassination of Richard Ratsimandrava led to a succession of events such as 1975 seems to be one of the years of richest in events policy and mark undoubtedly a turning for the political history of Madagascar.

A few hours after the death of the President, a military Directory charged to start one transitional period is created and directed by the Général Andriamahazo. One then attends a quasi-scenario of civil war between the partisans of the military Government and those of former President Philibert Tsiranana. The martial law is issued.

The February 13rd 1975, the political parties are suspended and the tensions continue through all the country: mutineers engage in violences. The February 14th 1975, the rendering of the mutinies allows the end of the engagements. One of supposed responsible for the disorders, Mr. Resampa is stopped.

The March 21st 1975, a lawsuit is then open to consider the people implied in the events: Tsiranana forms part of them. Finally, the June 12th 1975, 30 of the accused are discharged of which Resampa and Tsiranana. Three days later, the June 15th, the military Directory decides to elect a member who will become the next President of the Republic.

It is Didier Ratsiraka, lieutenant commander, Foreign Minister under the Ramanantsoa government, which is selected. ----

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