Press Trust of India
UNHQ, 5 October
The UN has expressed concern at mounting tension in the Maldives over the suspension of the second round of presidential polls and called for the completion of the electoral process as soon as possible.
The UN is following the situation in the Maldives “with concern in light of the mounting tension in the country following the postponement of the second round of its presidential election”, said UN spokesman Martin Nesirky.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been urging all Maldivians to exercise restraint, renew their commitment to the constitution and rule of law, and “work towards creating enabling conditions for peaceful, credible run-off elections to take place as soon as possible”, he said yesterday.
Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, who has acted as a UN envoy to the Maldives, briefed the Security Council on the situation on Wednesday.
The Supreme Court of the Maldives had late last month suspended presidential elections following a legal challenge, sparking protests and fears of fresh instability in the troubled island nation.
The directive came in response to a case filed by a political party demanding that the results of the first round on 7 September be annulled because of alleged discrepancies.
Maldivian Democratic Party leader and former President Mohammed Nasheed, who led the first round with over 45 per cent votes, was to face Abdullah Yameen, the Progressive Party of Maldives candidate, in the second round of polls.
The second round of the presidential run-off between Mr Nasheed and Yameen was to take place on 28 September but it was indefinitely postponed by the court.
The Maldives held its first multi-party election in 2008 but has faced political turmoil after Mr Nasheed was ousted from power in February 2012, in a move which he termed as coup. Mr Nasheed was succeed by his then vice-president Waheed Hassan.