MALE - Maldives security forces wielding batons late on Friday charged thousands of protesters led by former leader Mohamed Nasheed heading along a road leading to the presidential palace, badly injuring one.

More than 3,000 protesters, mostly youths, marched towards the palace along with Nasheed, demanding the government hold an early election and calling on President Mohamed Waheed to resign.

Backers of Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) were protesting for a second day against a report by a Commonwealth-backed commission that found a Feb. 7 power transition in which the former leader resigned did not constitute a coup.

After stepping down, Nasheed, in power since 2008, said he had been forced to resign at gunpoint by mutinying police and soldiers.

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