Former Madgascar President Returns Home From Exile

Posted November 24th, 2011 at 11:10 am (UTC-5)
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Madagascar's former president Didier Ratsiraka has returned to his homeland, ending more than nine years in exile.

Mr. Ratsiraka, who had been living in France, kissed the ground when he arrived in the capital, Antananarivo on Thursday.

The former president returned home after a unity government was formed earlier this month, as part of efforts to end a three-year political crisis in the island nation.

The agreement called for the formation of a new government that will lead the country to future elections.

Madagascar's military-backed President Andry Rajoelina has ruled the country since a 2009 coup that ousted former president Marc Ravalomanana.

Mr. Ravalomanana has been living in South Africa, but the plan signed this month allows him to return to Madagascar.

Former president Ratsiraka fled to France in 2002, after an election dispute in which he refused to concede defeat to Mr. Ravalomanana.

Mr. Ratsiraka was president from 1975 to 1991 and again from 1996 to 2002.