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Malagasy Revolutionary Party

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Malagasy Revolutionary Party
Antoko Revolisionera Malagasy
National SecretaryAnnick Zoary Ratsiraka
FounderDidier Ratsiraka
Founded30 November 1976; 47 years ago (1976-11-30)
Membership (1995)455,000
Political position
National Assembly
0 / 151

The Malagasy Revolutionary Party, better known by its Malagasy acronym AREMA (from Antoko Revolisionera Malagasy), is a political party in Madagascar. It was the ruling party of the Democratic Republic of Madagascar, a Marxist–Leninist one-party socialist state, from 1976 to 1992 under the names Vanguard of the Malagasy Revolution (Avant-garde pour la Révolution Malgache) and Vanguard for Malagasy Renovation (Avant-garde pour la Rénovation Malgache) until 2002.


"AREMA" was originally an acronym derived from the party's Malagasy and French names: Antokin'ny Revolisiona Malagasy (lit.'Guarantor of the Malagasy Revolution') in Malagasy and Avant-garde de la Révolution Malgache (lit.'Vanguard of the Malagasy Revolution') in French.

Sometime around 2001, the party changed its Malagasy name to Andry sy rihana enti-manavotra an'i Madagasikara (lit.'Pillars and Foundations to Save Madagascar') and its French name to Avant-garde pour la rénovation de Madagascar (lit.'Vanguard for the Renovation of Madagascar'). Although the acronym "AREMA" was maintained in both Malagasy and French, the meaning of the party's name differed between the two languages. The party later changed its French name to Association pour la renaissance de Madagascar, the acronym "AREMA" now also applying to the party's English name, Association for the Rebirth of Madagascar.

In 2020 the party adopted the Malagasy name Antoko Revolisionera Malagasy (lit.'Malagasy Revolutionary Party') for all its official publications, including those in French.


The party was founded on 30 March 1976 as the Vanguard of the Malagasy Revolution, the main political alliance of president Didier Ratsiraka. It held the majority of seats in the parliament until the fall of the Ratsiraka regime in 1991.

AREMA had 455,000 registered members in 1995.[1]

In the elections to the Senate held on 18 March 2001, AREMA won 49 of the 60 elected seats.

In the parliamentary election held on 15 December 2002, AREMA won 4.9% of the popular vote and 3 out of 160 seats in the National Assembly, all three in Toamasina Province.

Pierrot Rajaonarivelo was elected national secretary at a party congress on 29 November 1997.[2][3] He has been exiled in France since 2002 and has been convicted and sentenced in absentia. Ramaholimasy holds the position while Rajaonarivelo is out of the country.

Currently, AREMA is divided into two antagonistic factions: those behind Rajaonarivelo and those who claim to be supported by the party founder, Ratsiraka.

Rajaonarivelo sought to run in the December 2006 presidential election, but was not allowed to enter the country.

The Ratsiraka faction of the party chose not to participate in the September 2007 parliamentary election, while the Rajaonarivelo faction chose to participate. The Ratsiraka faction sought to prevent the Rajaonarivelo faction's participation, but on 23 August the High Constitutional Court ruled that the Rajaonarivelo faction could participate.[4] AREMA did not win any seats in the election.

AREMA's current national secretary, Simon Pierre, and six deputy national secretaries were elected during the party congress on 12 June 2013.[5][needs update]


As the ruling party of the Democratic Republic of Madagascar, AREMA espoused communism and adhered to Marxism–Leninism and scientific socialism. The party maintained close relations with other communist parties around the world, particularly the Workers' Party of Korea. Ratsiraka expressed strong sympathies and support for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea). AREMA hosted the International Scientific Seminar on the Juche Idea in Antananarivo from 28 to 30 September 1976. Many prominent party and government officials, public figures, representatives of revolutionary and progressive organizations, scientists and journalists from more than fifty countries attended.

After the dissolution of the Democratic Republic of Madagascar and the country's adoption of a multi-party system, AREMA began to move towards a more moderate left position. The party currently describes itself as "a humanist and ecological social democratic party". The stated goals of the party are to "build healthy and solid foundations for the construction of a social democracy which guarantees sustained and sustainable growth", and to "consolidate and maintain the independence of Madagascar and the freedom of the Malagasy people, for a just and equitable nation".[6]

Electoral history[edit]

Presidential elections[edit]

Election Candidate Votes % Votes % Result
First round Second round
1982 Didier Ratsiraka 3,192,156 80.16% Elected Green tickY
1989 2,891,333 62.71% Elected Green tickY
1992–93 1,260,193 28.59% 1,378,640 33.26% Lost Red XN
1996 1,321,388 36.61% 1,608,321 50.71% Elected Green tickY
2001 1,701,094 40.61% Lost Red XN
2018 22,222 0.45% Lost Red XN

National Assembly elections[edit]

Election Votes % Seats +/− Position
1977 Unknown

(in joint list with the CPIM, MCDU, and PMNU)

112 / 137
Increase 112 Increase 1st
1983 2,239,771 65.26%
117 / 137
Increase 5 Steady 1st
1989 2,785,448 66.84%
120 / 137
Increase 3 Steady 1st
1993 Did not contest
0 / 134
Decrease 120 N/A
1998 Unknown 24.74%
63 / 150
Increase 63 Increase 1st
2002 189,539 4.90%
3 / 160
Decrease 60 Decrease 3rd


  1. ^ "Présentation". www.parti-arema.com. Parti AREMA. Retrieved 6 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Madagascar: Ruling party conference revamps party, elects new head", Malagasy National Radio, Antananarivo, 1 December 1997.
  3. ^ "Dec 1997 – Changes in structure of AREMA", Keesing's Record of World Events, Volume 43, December 1997 Madagascar, Page 41948.
  4. ^ Iloniaina Alain, "Madagascar: Arema pro-Pierrot Rajaonarivelo – la HCC donne son feu vert", L'Express de Madagascar (allAfrica.com), 25 August 2007 (in French).
  5. ^ "Les responsables". www.parti-arema.com. Parti AREMA. Retrieved 6 November 2021.
  6. ^ "Les mots du Fondateur". www.parti-arema.com. Parti AREMA. Retrieved 6 November 2021.