The Maldives president announced Wednesday that he will call for an early presidential election amid opposition demands following a contentious power transfer earlier this year.

President Mohammed Waheed Hassan said the election will be held in July 2013, the earliest permitted by the constitution, according to a statement from his office. The vote was originally scheduled for late 2013.

Maldives is a Muslim nation of 300,000 people known for its luxury island resorts. Mr. Nasheed, a former pro-democracy political prisoner, became the first democratically elected president of the Indian Ocean archipelago in 2008 following 30 years of autocratic rule.

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