Maldives President Agrees to Early Election

Posted February 17th, 2012 at 3:15 am (UTC-5)
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The new president of the Maldives has agreed to hold early elections in an apparent concession to his ousted predecessor who claims he was forced from office in a coup.

Mohamed Waheed Hassan agreed Thursday to bring forward elections scheduled for October 2013 in a deal brokered by Indian Foreign Minister Ranjan Mathal. The date of the new elections was not immediately clear.

Former President Mohamed Nasheed, the country's first democratically elected president, resigned last week after numerous calls by protesters and police officers for him to step down. He later said he was forced from office in a coup and accused the new president, his former second-in-command, of being involved.

Mr. Hassan has denied the allegations.

Mr. Nasheed stepped down after ordering the arrest of a senior judge, sparking weeks of protest.