Madagascar's 2013 elections marked a turning point in Malagasy history, an important step toward democracy, and a foundation for renewed growth and development. The elections offered an opportunity for one of the world's poorest countries to emerge from five years of economic, social, and political stagnation that began with a 2009 coup d'état.
The Carter Center partnered with the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) to deploy short-term observers to assess the legislative elections and second round of presidential elections, both held the same day. The elections were successfully implemented by the National Independent Electoral Commission for the Transition, the first independent electoral commission in Madagascar's history. Observers from the integrated EISA/Carter Center mission reported that voting and counting processes were peaceful, orderly, and in general accordance with Madagascar's legal framework and obligations for democratic elections, and the Center urged continued commitment to peace and reconciliation in the country.
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Size: 587,041 square kilometers
Population below poverty line: 50 percent
Life expectancy: 66 years
Ethnic groups: Malayo-Indonesian (Merina and related Betsileo), Cotiers (mixed African, Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry - Betsimisaraka, Tsimihety, Antaisaka, Sakalava), French, Indian, Creole, Comoran
Religions: Indigenous beliefs, Christian, Muslim
Languages: French (official), Malagasy (official), English
Source: U.S. Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook 2016