Presidential polls in Maldives set for September

Male, Feb 7 (IANS) The Maldivian Elections Commission Thursday said presidential elections in the island will be held Sep 7 this year.

This will be the first presidential polls held in the nation after President Mohamed Waheed replaced former president Mohamed Nasheed in February last year, reported Xinhua.

The Elections Commission announcement also comes days after mounting international pressure by the European Union and other nations reiterating calls for free and fair polls in the Maldives.

President Waheed Sunday announced that he and his government was fully committed to a free and fair election and also urged the Elections Commission to declare the election date "as soon as possible".

In April last year, just two months after Nasheed was replaced, Waheed announced that the presidential polls will be held in July 2013 due to wide protests demanding an early election by Nasheed's supporters.

Nasheed was overthrown in what he calls a coup on the tropical nation.

However Waheed, who served as vice president under Nasheed, said his predecessor resigned voluntarily after protests triggered by the arrest of a judge. He said July 2013 was the earliest that polls could be held.