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Madagascar Ousted President Agrees to Democracy Plan

Former Madagascan President Marc Ravalomanana during a press conference in Sandton, north of Johannesburg, South Africa (file photo).

Madagascar's ousted president has agreed to a plan for restoring democracy to his island nation that leaves the coup leader who toppled him in charge until elections are held within one year.

The proposal allows Marc Ravalomanana to return to Madagascar.

The plan was signed Saturday in Antananarivo by Madagascar's military-backed President Andry Rajoelina and a representative of Ravalomanana, who has been living South Africa since he was ousted in 2009.

The deal was brokered during months-long negotiations by the Southern African Development Community. It had been urging Madagascar to allow the return of Ravalomanana as part of a plan to restore democracy.

Ravalomanana has been sentenced in absentia to life in prison for the killing of demonstrators by his troops ahead of the coup.

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