April 18, 2012 (LBO) – Maldivian President Mohamed Waheed on Wednesday called for presidential elections to be held ahead of time, in July 2013, after his favourites won two by-elections over the weekend. Waheed, who is accused by his predecessor of seizing power in a military-backed coup, said Saturday’s elections confirmed the democratic credentials of the elections commission and the independent institutions involved.
“President Waheed.. has called for elections in July 2013, the earliest date permitted under the Constitution,” his office said in a statement on Wednesday.
Under the current constitutions, elections were due in October 2013. However, former president Mohamed Nasheed, who claims he was forced out of office in February, has been calling for elections this year. His call has been backed by the Commonwealth and India, who have been trying to mediate in the political crisis since Nasheed’s hurried resignation.
Waheed, who was the vice-president under Nasheed, has appointed a committee to probe the events that led to Nasheed’s controversial exit.
The new president has since formed a coalition government, and won his first popularity test during Saturday’s elections.