ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar - Madagascar's election commission says the island nation plans to hold its presidential election next year on May 8.
Election commission president Beatrice Attalah said Wednesday that the country will hold a run-off on July 3, 2013, as well as elections for the National Assembly the same day. Attalah said elections for municipal posts will be held Oct. 23, 2013.
The announcement comes while Madagascar's exiled president Marc Ravalomanana remains unable to return home. Rival Andry Rajoelina toppled Ravalomanana in 2009 and now leads a unity government charged with preparing for next year's elections.
Last Friday Lalao Ravalomanana flew from Johannesburg to Madagascar to visit her family but was turned away by authorities and deported to Thailand.
Her visit came just two days after SADC brought Ravalomanana and Rajoelina together on a Seychelles island for unprecedented direct talks.
SADC said in a statement it was "dismayed by the surreptitious attempt by Mrs Ravalomanana to enter Madagascar in contravention of the current engagements".
Ravalomanana was angry at the SADC stance.
"SADC does not know what it is talking about. Nor has the organisation bothered to ask me what happened," he said in a statement, adding he had received assurances from Rajoelina during the private talks they had in Seychelles and at which no SADC representative was present.
"During our tete-a-tete Rajoelina gave me an undertaking that he would not interfere with my family. He assured me that he was a family man and that my family would be safe in Madagascar.
"It was for that reason that my wife decided - openly and not surreptitiously - that she would return to Madagascar to visit her 82-year-old mother."
Following that his wife went ahead to book her flight.
"There is nothing surreptitious or provocative in that," he said.
Ravalomanana and Rajoelina held talks in recent days in the Seychelles about allowing the exiled president to return.