Maldives proposes presidential polls in 2013

April 18th, 2012 - 1:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Male, April 18 (IANS) The Maldivian government Wednesday proposed a presidential election in July 2013, three months prior to the earlier schedule.

Abbas Adil Riza, spokesperson for the President’s Office here, said that President Mohammed Waheed has called for the presidential election in July 2013 which he claimed as the earliest date permitted under the constitution, reported Xinhua.

Waheed had earlier said that the election could not be conducted anywhere before October 2013.

Following the victory at last week’s byelection for two constituencies, Waheed said he was confident in calling the Indian Ocean archipelago to a vote at the earliest constitutionally mandated time.

The Maldives opposition led by former president Mohamed Nasheed insisted on an early election since controversial power transfer to Waheed Feb 7. Nasheed claimed he was ousted in a military backed coup.

The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) Monday reiterated an early election in 2012 and also claimed the Commission of National Inquiry, which was set up to inquire into the controversial power transfer from Nasheed to Waheed, was not independent and impartial.

It urged the new government to review the commission immediately to make it genuinely independent, credible and impartial.

In response, Waheed has welcomed the Commonwealth to assign a judge to advise and assist the Commission of National Inquiry.

Meanwhile, the Maldives Democratic Party led by Nasheed Wednesday welcomed the recommendations of the CMAG and asked Waheed’s regime to consider these seriously and take steps to remedy the situation within the next few days.

The Maldives, an Indian Ocean archipelago that is home to 300,000 people and known for its luxury resorts, has been undergoing a political turmoil since the controversial ouster of Nasheed in February.

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