Male, Apr 18 - Maldives today announced that the next presidential elections would be held in July next year, just few months ahead of the scheduled date. The announcement came after months of parleys among various political parties here and with international bodies.
Many countries including India had supported early elections but did not give any particular time-frame saying the matter had to be decided by Maldives only.
"President Waheed is fully committed to strengthening democratic processes in the Maldives and has called for elections in July 2013, the earliest date permitted under the Constitution," a statement issued by the President's office here said.
It said the successful holding of parliamentary bypolls on April 14 confirmed the democratic credentials of the Election Commission and the independent institutions involved.
"As such, President Waheed is confident in calling the country to a vote at the earliest constitutionally mandated time," it said. The Presidential elections were originally slated for November 2013.
Ousted Maldivian President Mohammed Nasheed has demanded resignation of current President Mohammed Waheed and immediate elections. The country had slipped into political instability after Nasheed resigned on February 7 after what he said was a "coup". PTI