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Maldives to hold first polls since president toppled

Published on Feb 6, 2013 2:18 PM

COLOMBO (AFP) - The Maldives is to hold presidential polls on Sept 7, the first since the archipelago's first democratically elected leader was toppled in what he called a coup, the government said on Wednesday.

"The election commission has announced Sept 7 as the date," Mr Masood Imad, media secretary to President Mohamed Waheed, told AFP. "Administrative work has already begun to conduct the election."

The election announcement came on the eve of the first anniversary of Mr Mohamed Nasheed stepping down as president and later declaring that he was forced out of office in a coup backed by security forces, police and Islamic extremists.

However, a Commonwealth-supervised investigation rejected his claim of a coup and said that the transition of power to his deputy Mohamed Waheed was in line with the constitution.

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