Ousted Madagascar leader's wife allowed to return home

The wife of ousted Madagascar leader Marc Ravalomanana returned home Tuesday after her exiled husband's political rival granted her permission to visit her sick mother."Lalao Ravalomanana arrived on Malagasy territory this morning at about five o'clock in the morning (0200 GMT)," Hanitra Razafimanantsoa, the former leader's lawyer, told AFP.Her husband is barred from returning and has been in exile in South Africa since being forced from power in 2009.The couple have tried unsuccessfully several times to return to Madagascar, with authorities believing that their return could spark unrest.The former Madagascan first lady was granted permission to travel home from South Africa to be with her sick 83-year-old mother until her health improves.According to the instructions of transitional leader President Andry Rajoelina, she must not take part in any public activities and only visit her mother.Ravalomanana's safety was being ensured by both the country's transitional regime and staff from her husband's party, said Razafimanantsoa, who is also the ex-leader's lawyer.Less than two weeks ago, she was blocked from boarding a flight to Madagascar.The country is set for elections later this year.Rajoelina and Ravalomanana have opted to stay out of the 2013 race, saying their absence would favour a smooth transition.tm/jg/arb/br