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Antenimierampirenena (National Assembly)

Compare data for parliamentary chambers in the Oversight module


Parliament name (generic / translated) -
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name Antenimierampirenena (National Assembly)
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Antenimieran-ny Mpanolo-tsaina Avon'ny Tetezamita - Conseil Supérieur de la Transition / Higher Transitional Council
Type of political regime semi-presidential
Notes The President is the Head of State (Article 44 of the Constitution). He/she assures respect for the Constitution and is the guarantor of the indivisibility of the Republic and by arbitration, the regular functioning of public powers, national independence and territorial integrity.
Head of the executive President of the Republic
Notes The President presides over the Council of Ministers and works out and decides general state policy. The Prime Minister is the head of the Government and leads state policy; he/she directs the activity of the Government and is responsible for coordinating the activities of the ministries (Article 63 of the Constitution).
Method for appointing the executive The President is elected by universal direct suffrage (Article 45 of the Constitution). He appoints the Prime Minister and releases him from office for all decisive causes. On the advice of the latter the President appoints the other members of the Government and releases them from office.
Term of office of the executive and coincidence with the term of the legislature The President is elected by universal direct suffrage for a five-year term. He/she may be re-elected twice. His/her term of office does not coincide with that of the deputies, which is also five years.
Incompatibility of the functions of member of the executive and member of Parliament Yes The mandate of a deputy is incompatible with the exercise of any other public employment, except education, and with any other elective public office (Article 67 of the Constitution). A deputy appointed member of the Government automatically resigns the office of deputy.
Dissolution of Parliament Yes
  • Circumstances
The President may dissolve the National Assembly under certain terms (Article 58 of the Constitution).
  • Modalities
The President dissolves the Assembly by decree at the Council of Ministers. New deputies are then elected. The President may not proceed with a new dissolution the year following an election. The Assembly was adjourned once between 1990 and 2000. Following the adoption of a new bill a few weeks before the end of the existing mandate, making national identity cards compulsory for each elector, the High Constitutional Court had to bring the legislative elections forward as a case of force majeure.
Accountability of Government to Parliament Yes The Government consists of the Prime Minister and ministers and implicates general state policy (Article 61 of the Constitution). It is collectively responsible to the National Assembly.
Modalities of oversight
  • Oral and written questions of parliamentarians
The parliament is informed of government action by means of oral questions, written questions, interpellations and a Committee of Inquiry (Article 93 of the Constitution). During ordinary sessions, one meeting a month is reserved for questions put to the Government by members of the parliament and for the Government's responses.
  • Government reports to Parliament
In the first ordinary session, the Government presents an annual report to the National Assembly on the implementation of its programme (Article 92 of the Constitution). The presentation is followed by a debate, but not by voting.
  • Vote of confidence on Government programs and/or legislative proposals
After deliberation by the Council of Ministers, the Prime Minister may commit his Government by requesting a vote of no confidence (Article 91 of the Constitution). Voting takes place not earlier than 48 hours after presentation of the question of confidence. If it is defeated by an absolute majority of the members of the National Assembly, the Government presents its resignation to the President.
Motions of censure and votes of no confidence (sub-report)
  • Circumstances
The National Assembly may raise the issue of government responsibility by a motion of censure (Article 94 of the Constitution).
  • Modalites
Such a motion is not acceptable unless it signed by half the members of the National Assembly. Voting may only take place 48 hours after the motion has been tabled. The motion is only adopted if it is voted by two thirds of the members of the National Assembly.
  • Consequences
If the motion is adopted, the Government presents its resignation to the President, who proceeds with the nomination of a new Prime Minister. Between 1990 and 2000, three motions of censure were tabled by the opposition. One motion was adopted by the Chamber.
Dismissal and/or impeachment of Government and other public officials (sub-report)
  • Circumstances and persons concerned
The President is not responsible for acts carried out in the exercise of his/her office except for in the event of high treason or a serious and repeat violation of the Constitution (Article 113 of the Constitution). Temporary impeachment of the President of the Republic may be declared by the High Constitutional Court after referral by the parliament (Article 50 of the Constitution). The Presidents of the parliamentary assemblies, the Prime Minister, the other members of the Government and the President of the High Constitutional Court are judicially responsible before the High Court of Justice for acts carried out in the exercise of their office that qualify as serious crimes or other major offences at the time they were committed (Article 114 of the Constitution).
  • Modalites and procedure
The President may not be implicated except by the two Assemblies by a separate vote, a public vote, and by a two-thirds majority of the members of each assembly. It is justiceable of the High Court of Justice and may incur a lapse. The other persons pronounced may be indicted by the two Assemblies by a separate vote at an absolute majority of the members that constitute each assembly.

The lifting of a temporary impeachment of the President is decided by the High Constitutional Court. Temporary impeachment may not exceed six months, at the end of which the High Court, on the referral of the parliament, deciding on grounds of his/her physical or mental incapacity to exercise his/her functions by separate voting in each of the assemblies at a two-thirds majority of the members, may rule on the temporary impeachment being converted into permanent impeachment.
  • Consequences
If the President is impeached, the Court announces the vacancy of the Presidency and new elections are held. A President who has been impeached is no longer eligible for any elective public office. If the Presidency becomes vacant following permanent impeachment, elections for a new President take place.
  • Have these procedures been applied?
Oversight over the actions of the Government administration Yes The Government is collectively responsible before the National Assembly.
Means and modalities of oversight
  • Hearings in Committees
The Parliament exercises oversight over government actions by means of hearings before the committees.
  • Committees of inquiry and missions to Government departments
Committees of Inquiry are set up if the proposal for a resolution is voted and tabled by at least eight deputies. Such committees are formed in the same conditions as permanent committees. However, each political group must be represented by at least one deputy. The proposal for a resolution must determine the facts that give rise to an inquiry. The Committee of Inquiry comprises as many members plus one as there are groups. The work if the committee comes to an end when it has submitted its report.
  • Oral and written questions of parliamentarians
Oral questions are presented by one deputy to a minister. Questions on general government policy are posed to the Prime Minister. Oral questions must be prepared summarily and limited to elements strictly relevant to the understanding of the question. Any deputy wishing to ask an oral question submits the text to the President of the National Assembly who then notifies the Government. As they are being submitted, oral questions are inscribed by the presidency in the oral questions register. One session a month is reserved for oral questions to be given priority during an ordinary session. The conference of the Presidents plans the inscription of the questions on the agenda taking into account the register drawn up the day before its meeting. The author of the question has one opportunity to retort and the Minister may retort back. No further intervention may take place and no voting may intervene.

An oral question with a request for debate is called by the President. Its author has the right to speak for 30 minutes maximum, the competent minister then replies. After the minister's reply, the President organizes the debate based on the list of registered speakers and gives each of them the opportunity to speak. The minister may at any time replicate if he/she deems it necessary. After the hearing of the last orator, the President moves on to the next item on the agenda. Written questions are drawn up and noted in the conditions set for oral questions, then published in the official journal. The ministers' replies must be published in the official journal the month following the publication of the questions. The ministers may request an extended deadline for gathering information for the response. This may not exceed one month.
  • Role of Parliament in the appointment of senior Government officials
Not applicable
  • Activity reports of the Government administration and of public services or establishments
Not applicable
  • Representation of Parliament in governing bodies of the Government administration
Not applicable
Existence of an ombudsman Yes
  • Method for appointing the executive
The Ombudsman is appointed by a Prime Minister's decree.
  • Relationship to Parliament
The role of the Ombudsman is that of litigator between the citizens and the Government.
Consultation of Parliament in the preparation of the national budget No Under the authority of the Prime Minister, the ministers responsible for finances and the budget prepare the finance bill.
Modalities of oversight
  • Examination of the budget / finance act by Parliament
The National Assembly has a maximum of thirty days to assess the submission of the bill for first reading examination. If it fails to give its ruling within this time limit, it is presumed to have adopted it and the bill is transferred to the Senate. Under the same conditions as for the first reading, there is a deadline of fifteen days for assessing the transfer of the bill and each Assembly has five days for each of the following readings. If an assembly fails to give a ruling by the deadline given, it is presumed to have passed a vote in favour of the text referred to it.

All amendments to the budget proposal incurring an increase in spending or a lowering of public funds must be accompanied by a proposal for increasing revenue or the equivalent monies. If the finance bill for a financial year was not submitted in good time for promulgation before the beginning of that financial year, the Prime Minister requests authorization from the parliament to collect the taxes and open by decree the appropriations relating to the services voted.
  • Reports on the budget / finance act by Committees
The Committee for Finance and the Economy implements the examination of the finance bill. All deputies have the right to assist in an advisory capacity in the work of the Committee, which may hear the explanations of the minister responsible or his/her representative. On the authorization of the President's conference, the General Rapporteur may be called before the committee whose competence denotes a budgetary inscription for clarification purposes. In his/her report the observations submitted by the members of the aforementioned committee must be mentioned. In an advisory capacity he/she may also follow the overall work of this committee, to whose meetings he/she must be called.
Fields overseen
  • Defence budget
The parliament exercises oversight over all public funds.
  • Budget of special departments
Not applicable
  • Role of Parliament in national development plans
Not available
Parliament's deadline for the examination and adoption of the budget / finance act The parliament examines the finance bill during the second ordinary session (Article 88 of the Constitution). It has a maximum of 60 days to examine and adopt it.
Consequences of failure by Parliament to adopt the budget / finance act If the parliament has not adopted the finance bill before the closing of the second session, the provisions may be brought into force by means of ordinance including one or several of the amendments adopted by the two assemblies.
Budgetary autonomy of Parliament Yes The parliament is the soul judge of the appropriateness of its spending. However, it is duty-bound to respect the rules governing public accounting.
Evaluation of Government spending
Parliament approves Government expenditures annually No Not applicable
Parliamentary oversight of public companies No The Court of Auditors controls the accounts and the management of public companies.
Modalities of oversight
  • Body for auditing the Government's books and method for appointing
The Court of Auditors judges the public accounts and oversees the implementation of the finance bill as well as the budgets of the autonomous provinces and the public organizations (Article 110 of the Constitution).
  • Reports of the public auditor's office
The Court of Auditors resides in an appellate capacity over judgements made on financial matters by the jurisdictions or the judicial administrative bodies. It assists the parliament and the Government in overseeing the implementation of the finance bills and assists the Provincial Council in overseeing the implementation of the budget for its autonomous province. The Court hands over its report to the presidents of the parliament, and this report is used during the financial year by the parliament and its auditory office.
  • Specialised committee
Not applicable
Foreign Relations Committee (sub-report)
  • Functions of the Committee
The parliament exercises oversight over foreign policy via the Foreign Affairs Committee.
  • Powers of the Committee
The Committee deals with matters in the fields of foreign policy, of cooperation, and of treaties and international agreements.
  • Composition of the Committee
The composition of the Committee reflects the numerical strength of each party in the parliament.
  • Bilateral visits of Parliament, inter-parliamentary conferences and information missions abroad
The parliament exercises oversight over foreign policy via bilateral visits and inter-parliamentary conferences.
  • Plenary debates on foreign policy issues
Not applicable
Involvement of Parliament
  • Participation of Parliament in inter-governmental meetings
The parliament may take the initiative of sending a delegation to inter-governmental meetings.
  • Modalities and procedures for ratifying international treaties and agreements (sub-report)
The President negotiates and ratifies treaties and international agreements (Article 55 of the Constitution). He is informed of all negotiations pertaining to the conclusion of an international agreement not subject to ratification. Ratification or the approval of treaties of alliance, treaties of commerce, treaties or agreements relating to international organizations, of those that invest state finances, those that amend the legislative provisions, those concerned with the status of persons, peace treaties, and those that incorporate territory modification must be authorized by law and therefore ratified by the parliament (Article 82.3 of the Constitution).

Before all ratification, treaties are submitted by the President for the control of the constitutionality of the High Constitutional Court. In the event of non-conformity with the Constitution, no ratification may take place except after it revision. From the moment of their ratification, treaties or agreements that are ratified or approved regularly have authority over and above that of the law, without reserve, for the use of each agreement or treaty by the other party.
  • Other mechanisms for participation in foreign policy by Parliament
There are no other means of oversight for the parliament.
National Defence Committee (sub-report)
  • Functions of the Committee
The parliament exercises oversight over defence policy via the Foreign Affairs Committee.
  • Powers of the Committee
The Committee examines texts that bear relation to the general defence policy and foreign and national policy.
  • Composition of the Committee
The composition of the Committee reflects the numerical strength of each party in the parliament.
Parliamentary oversight of public arms manufacturing companies Not applicable
Circumstances and involvement
  • Modalities and procedures in case of war, an armed attack or a state of emergency
A declaration of war may only be authorized by the parliament. An exceptional situation is decreed by the President, and its extension beyond fifteen days may be authorized by the parliament. The law decides the limitations of public and individual liberties during emergency situations.
  • Role of Parliament in sending troops abroad
The President is the supreme head of the armed forces and guarantor of its unity (Article 55 of the Constitution). He/she decides upon the commitment of armed forces resources in foreign interventions, after consulting the Superior Council of National Defence, the Council of Ministers, and the parliament.
  • Other mechanisms for participation in national defence policy by Parliament
There are no other means of parliamentary oversight.
Circumstances If the institutions of the Republic, the independence of the nation and its unity or integrity are threatened, and public order is compromised, the President may proclaim a national emergency over part or whole of the national territory, in other words a state of emergency or martial law (Article 59 of the Constitution). The decision is taken by the President at the Council of Ministers, after the recommendation of the Presidents of the National Assembly, the Senate and the High Constitutional Court.
Can parliament take the initiative to declare a state of emergency No
Consequences of a state of emergency for Parliament The announcement of a national emergency confers to the President special powers whose extent and duration are fixed by a basic law. When one of the aforesaid national emergencies has been declared, the President may legislate by means of ordinance on matters that are outside the law.
Modalities of oversight
  • Body ruling on the constitutionality of laws
A specialised body / constitutional Court The High Constitutional Court decides on the conformity with the Constitution of legal texts. It consists of nine members whose term of office is seven years (Article 119 of the Constitution). Three of the members are appointed by the President and two are elected by the Supreme Council of the magistracy. The President of the High Constitutional Court is appointed by presidential decree. The appointment of the other members is certified by presidential decree.
  • Means and procedures
The High Constitutional Court decides on the conformity with the Constitution of (i) treaties, laws and enactments of inter-provincial conventions and autonomous rules decreed by the central Government, (ii) presides over conflicts of jurisdiction between two or more state institutions or between the State and one or more autonomous provinces or between two or more autonomous provinces, (iii) decides on the conformity with the Constitution and with basic laws of statutory laws and laws adopted by the autonomous provinces and (iv) rules on the litigation of referendum operations, presidential elections and the elections of deputies and senators (Article 118 of the Constitution).

A head of an institution or a quarter of the members of one of the assemblies or bodies of the autonomous provinces may refer to the Court, for a constitutionality check, all legislative or regulatory text as well as all matters that come under his/her competence. If a party refers an exception of unconstitutionality to a particular jurisdiction, this jurisdiction defers the decision-making process and gives it a month to appeal to the Court, which must decide within a month. A clause declared unconstitutional ceases by rights to be in force. The decision of the High Constitutional Court is published in the official journal. The Court may be consulted by the head of each institution and all bodies of autonomous provinces to give its opinion on the constitutionality of all draft documents or on the interpretation of a clause of the Constitution.
Evaluation of laws No Not available

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