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AU Chief: August Deal Only Way to Solve Madagascar Crisis


AU Chief: August Deal Only Way to Solve Madagascar Crisis
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The African Union is calling on Madagascar's political rivals to stick to an August power-sharing deal, saying "there is no other alternative" to ending the country's political crisis.

AU commissioner Jean Ping made the remarks Tuesday in Antananarivo, where he met with fellow mediators on the International Contact Group for Madagascar.

Mr. Ping assembled the foreign envoys to discuss ways of restoring political order to the island nation.

Police fired tear gas to disperse a small number of protesters who had gathered outside the meeting.

Madagascar's current leader, Andry Rajoelina, ousted President Marc Ravalomanana with the military's help in March.

Mr. Rajoelina formed his own administration in September after the four main political factions could not agree who would hold top positions.

The African Union says the move violates the August 9 accord, which requires all sides to agree on appointments to an interim government.

Both the AU and the Southern African Development Community have refused to recognize Mr. Rajoelina as president.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.