Indian election team visits Maldives

Male, Sep 6 (IANS) A high-level delegation of election observers from India, in Maldives to monitor the Sep 7 presidential polls, is to visit polling booths in Male as well as in the northern and southern atolls.

The seven-member delegation is visiting Maldives on the invitation of the country's election commission.

The delegation consists of four teams. Two of the teams will be observing the elections in Male and nearby islands, while one team will visit Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo, Meedhoo and Hulhudhoo islands in the Addu Atoll, and another team will visit Kulhudhuffushi, Hanimadhoo and nearby islands in the Haa Dhallu and Haa Alifu Atolls in the north, said an official statement from the Indian High Commission.

The delegation has held wide-ranging interaction with the Elections Commission of Maldives, the UN offices in Maldives, the Commonwealth Observer team, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems and other members of the international community. The delegation also met Maldivian NGOs working in the area of elections such as Transparency Maldives and the Panel for National Harmony.

The Indian delegation also met the Maldivian Police to seek a briefing regarding the security arrangements being made for the presidential elections.

India has been stressing the importance of free, fair and credible elections in a peaceful environment followed by a smooth transition, the statement said.

The team consists of former chief election commissioners of India, J.M. Lyngdoh, B.B. Tandon, N. Gopalaswami, and former High Commissioner of India to the Maldives, S.M. Gavai.

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