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India 'deeply disappointed' over stalled Maldivian presidential poll
Saturday October 19, 2013 6:46 PM, IANS

India expressed its "deep disappointment" over the stalling of the Maldivian presidential polls slated for Saturday, an hour before voting was to begin.

"India is deeply disappointed that the repeat first round of the presidential elections was not held as scheduled today, Oct 19 and that the Elections Commission was not allowed to proceed with holding elections as per its constitutional mandate," said a statement by the external affairs ministry.

India had Friday called upon all the political parties in the Indian Ocean island nation to show spirit of co-operation and accommodation in holding the elections, "essential for fulfilling the political aspirations of the people of Maldives" as it appeared the poll had run into a roadblock over the voters' register.

In its statement Saturday, India said that it and the international community have been closely watching the developments in Maldives and "are seriously concerned at the attempts to stall the democratic process".

"It is for the people of Maldives to decide their future, and their strong desire to elect a new president is evident from the turnout of 88 percent in the first round of elections held on Sep 7, which was considered free and fair by the large contingent of international and domestic observers present," it said.

Urging Maldives to put back the electoral process on track immediately with a definite timeline so that a new president is elected and sworn in on Nov 11, as mandated by the constitution, India said wishes and aspirations of the people of Maldives, who have so far shown admirable patience and restraint, should be kept in mind.

It reiterated its call to all parties to "fulfil their responsibility towards the people of Maldives by playing a constructive role in the election process and fully assisting the Election Commission in holding the presidential elections without further delay".

India also called upon all parties to abjure violence and maintain calm.


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