UN chief calls for peaceful presidential polls in Maldives
Ban Ki-Moon takes note of Maldivian Supreme Court’s decision
United Nations: In the wake of the Maldivian Supreme Court annulling results of the first phase of presidential polls, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on Male to ensure an inclusive and credible process for a fresh vote scheduled to be held again later this month.
The country’s Supreme Court has annulled the results of the first round of polls, which had been held on September 7 and has called for a new vote.
“The Secretary-General takes note of the Maldivian Supreme Court’s decision ordering fresh presidential elections to be held within a new time frame,” Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement.
Ban asked all the Maldivians to ensure a peaceful, inclusive and credible process for these elections in the statement. The spokesperson said that Ban “acknowledges the continuing efforts by the Elections Commission of the Maldives.”
The Commission has announced that a revote will be held on October 19. The election had been seen as an important step in the country’s democratic transition. The Maldives underwent a change of government in 2012, when the previous democratically-elected President Mohamed Nasheed had resigned.
He was succeeded by his former deputy Mohammed Waheed Hassan. The apex court ruling is seen as a major blow to Nasheed who had emerged as the winner in the first round.
The court had late last month suspended presidential elections following a legal challenge, sparking protests and fears of fresh instability in the troubled Indian Ocean archipelago.
The directive came in response to a case filed by a political party demanding that the results of the first round on September 7 be annulled because of alleged discrepancies.