1906 – 1978
Who was Gabriel Ramanantsoa?
Ramanantsoa was a member of the Merina ethnic group, and came from a wealthy family. He was a career officer in the French army. After Madagascar became independent, he joined the Madagascar military, rising to the rank of Major General. In May 1972, amidst massive political protests, he became prime minister of the country, and a few months later, when President Philibert Tsiranana gave up power, Ramanantsoa became President, taking office on October 11, 1972. He tried to start political reconciliation. His government was nearly overthrown in December 1974. On February 5, 1975 he resigned amidst ethnic and social class tensions.
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