Commonwealth calls for credible polls in Maldives

Male, Oct 11 (IANS) The Commonwealth Friday called for a credible presidential election in the Maldives Oct 19 after the previous results were annulled.

Donald McKinnon, the Commonwealth secretary-general's special envoy to the Maldives, while noting in a statement the decision of the Maldives Supreme Court to annul the first round of the presidential election, spoke highly of the ongoing preparations by the Elections Commission to ensure fresh elections, Xinhua reported.

"I encourage all Maldivians again to ensure that the presidential election is fully inclusive, credible and peaceful, so that the people of Maldives are free to choose their president from among those candidates already officially approved, and the inauguration can take place Nov 11," he said.

A Commonwealth Observer Group was present in Maldives Aug 31-Sept 14 and reported positively on the credibility of the electoral process at the time.

However, the results were challenged in court and the Supreme Court annulled the results and called for fresh elections.

Maldives President Mohamed Waheed had Thursday condemned efforts by certain individuals to stop former president Mohamed Nasheed from running for president of the Indian Ocean archipelago nation.

President Waheed's condemnation came after a case was filed in the Supreme Court by a prominent lawyer requesting a ruling to bar Nasheed from standing for office in the forthcoming elections.

"It will not help resolve the already volatile political situation in Maldives," President Waheed said in a statement.


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