The Maldives president has announced 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.
The vote was originally scheduled for late 2013.
Mr Hassan took over in February after his predecessor Mohamed Nasheed resigned after weeks of public protests and later losing support from the police and military.
Mr Nasheed was the first democratically elected president of the Indian Ocean archipelago.
He claimed that he was forced to resign at gunpoint and challenged Mr Hassan to go for early election.