|Preceded by Gabriel Ramanantsoa|
Resigned February 11, 1975
Succeeded by Gilles Andriamahazo
|Name Richard Ratsimandrava|
|Born 21 March 1931
Antananarivo (1931-03-21) |
Died 11 February 1975(1975-02-11) (aged 43) Antananarivo
Assassinated February 11, 1975, Antananarivo, Madagascar
Presidential term February 5, 1975 – February 11, 1975
Colonel Richard Ratsimandrava (March 21, 1931 Antananarivo – February 11, 1975 Antananarivo) was President of Madagascar for six days in February 1975. His assassination in 1975 led to a civil war.
He was born in 1931 and was a Merina with a less "aristocratic" background and was thus was more palatable to the population. A graduate of the French Saint Cyr military college, Ratsimandrava served throughout French Africa before returning to Madagascar when that country gained independence in 1960. He joined the army, attaining the rank of lieutenant-colonel by 1968. In 1972 President Gabriel Ramanantsoa established a military government to replace the independence government of Philibert Tsiranana, and Ratsimandrava was appointed Minister of the Interior. In this position, he was able to manipulate the army, which led to the ousting of Ramanantsoa on February 5, 1975.
Six days following his taking office, Ratsimandrava was assassinated at 8 p.m. while driving from the presidential palace to his home. His death was announced by the new ruling military committee. It claimed that the President had been killed by members of the Republican Security Forces (Groupe Mobile de Police-GMP), a counterinsurgency outfit dissolved by his predecessor. The event nearly plunged the country into civil war between supporters of the military government and former President Tsiranana. In 2006, on the 31st anniversary of colonel's murder, a conference was held in Madagascar.