NATIONALITY CODE – An outdated text

The news is monopolized by the revelation of the French nationality of the President of the Republic. Information that refers to article 42 of the nationality code.

Anachronistic. Sixty-three years after the return of independence, reference is made to a text from the neocolonial era to speak of nationality. For a hard aberration to do better. Successive leaders have forgotten to review this text relating to the nationality code of their citizens. And suddenly it is the President of the Republic who is at the center of the controversy. Having acquired French nationality in 2014 with the members of his family, Andry Rajoelina would be concerned by article 42 of this obsolete code, which reads “Loses Malagasy nationality, the Malagasy who acquires a foreign nationality”. In other words, the nationality code denies dual nationality. Suddenly a shortcut is quickly made between the consequences of this article on the nationality of the President of the Republic and his eligibility for the presidential election. Article 45 of the Constitution, however, mentions “any citizen with Malagasy nationality may stand for the presidential election”. We do not know what was the spirit of the legislator at the time when writing this text, but it is still outdated by the realities today. Many Malagasy are bi-national naturally or on request. But this article 42 has never been applied. They enter Ivato international airport with a Malagasy passport and return to France with a French passport. For the President of the Republic, the acquisition of French nationality was dictated by family and not political reasons.


It is obvious that those who apply for French nationality have ignored this article 42. Until now, the President of the Republic has made more use of his nationality of origin than that of adoption. Whether we like it or not his patriotism is not to be doubted. There are questionable projects, unrealized intentions, but everything he undertakes is part of a voluntary development approach. Until proven otherwise, Andry Rajoelina is a Madagascan from head to toe and it is not administrative writings that will be able to change his DNA. Speaking on a national television program yesterday, the Minister of Culture and Communication and government spokesperson was very clear that the loss of nationality is not automatic, it can only be on request and recorded by decree. We must not practice legalism and look for lice everywhere, which will only further vitiate the atmosphere and exacerbate political tension. We are not going to imitate the stupidity of the Ivorians who disputed the “Ivorian” of Allasan Ouattara accused of having Burkinabe origins and banned from running for president in 2011. We know the rest of the story. As the same cause produces the same effects, we must not play with fire.

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