General Principles

                                                         PREAMBLE

The sovereign Malagasy people, profoundly attached to their cultural and spiritual values, especially to the basis of national unity; affirming their belief in God the Creator; faithful to their international commitments; adopting the International Charter of Human Rights, the African Charter of Human Rights, the Convention on Children's Rights, and considering these to be an integral part of their law; convinced that the growth of their personality and identity is basic to their harmonious development, the essential conditions of which are recognized to be:
• respect for and protection of fundamental liberties, individual and collective;
• separation and balance of powers to be exercised through democratic procedures;
• openness in the conduct of public affairs as a guarantee of citizen participation in the exercise of power and efficient effective supervision;
• the establishment of a State in which the people and the public officials are subject to the same legal norms under the supervision of an independent judiciary;
• protection of national unity through the implementation of a policy of balanced development in all areas;
• dedication to peace and fraternity;
• struggle against injustice, inequality, and discrimination in all its forms; and
• the application of effective decentralization;
declares:

Article 1 [People, State, Democracy]
(1) The Malagasy people shall constitute a Nation organized as a sovereign, secular State.

(2) This State shall be a Republic, unique and indivisible, and shall be named "Republic of Madagascar."

(3) Democracy shall be the basis of the Republic. Its sovereignty shall be exercised within the territorial limits recognized by international law.

Article 2 [Territorial Entities, Autonomie]
(1) The Republic of Madagascar shall be organized in decentralized territorial entities whose autonomy shall guaranteed by the Constitution.

(2) These territorial entities shall cooperate with the State developing the national community.

Article 3 [National Territory]
The national territory shall be inalienable.

Article 4 [Motto, Emblem, Anthem, Seals, Coat of Arms, Language]
(1) The Republic of Madagascar shall have for its Motto: "Homeland Revolution - Liberty".

(2) Its national emblem shall be a tri-colored flag, white, red, and green, consisting of three rectangular bands of equal dimensions. Starting on the edge closest to the flagpole, the first band shall be vertical and white; the other two shall be horizontal, the upper one red and the lower green.

(3) The national anthem shall be: "Oh, Dear Homeland".

(4) The State Seals and Coat of Arms shall be defined by law.

(5) Malagasy shall be the national language.

Article 5 [Capital]
The Capital of the Republic shall be Antananarivo.

Article 6 [Sovereignty, Representation, Electoral Rights]
(1) Sovereignty shall belong to the people, who shall exercise it through their representatives elected by direct or indirect universal suffrage or through a referendum. No faction or individual may usurp the exercise of sovereignty.

(2) All citizens, of both sexes, who possess civil and political rights shall be electors under conditions determined by law.

(3) Electoral status may be removed only by judicial decision.

Article 7 [Rule of Law]
Law shall be the expression of popular will. The law shall be the same for all in protection, in obligation, or in punishment.

Article 8 [Citizen Equality, No Discrimination]
(1) Citizens shall be equal under the law, enjoying the same fundamental liberties protected by law.

(2) The State shall prohibit all discrimination based on sex, education, wealth, origin, race, religion, or opinion.