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Foreign Secretary expresses concern and disappointment following further delays to the Maldives Presidential election.
Speaking today, William Hague said:
I am deeply dismayed by further delays to the Presidential elections in Maldives. It is clear that some political actors are not working in the interests of the Maldivian people, who have again demonstrated their commitment to democracy through their high turnout at the polls, which observers have broadly agreed were free and fair. Since the initial vote, now over two months ago, the democratic process has continually been subject to unreasonable demands and delays. Such delays only serve to increase the strain on democracy, as well as Maldives’ international reputation and already fragile economy.
I am also disappointed that President Waheed has announced his intention to remain in power past the end of his Presidential term, in clear contravention of the intent of the Maldives constitution. It is vital that there are no further delays to the second round of elections, which will now take place on 16 November. We would expect that any interim Government should remain in place only until the completion of the electoral process at this time, and that an interim Government would not seek to take any significant decision or new policy initiative.
The Maldivian people must have the right to vote for their representative, whether or not the result of that vote is agreeable to losing candidates. We urge all candidates to uphold the interests of the people and the country which they strive to represent and to act responsibly in helping to create conditions which are conducive to elections. It is vital that elections are now allowed to proceed as outlined by the Maldives Elections Commission, and that calm is maintained in this interim period.
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