Ban asks Maldivians to stay calm in wake of disrupted election

Oct. 21, 2013 at 10:09 AM

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was frustrated by a disruption in a presidential contest in Maldives and called on all parties to remain calm.

Ban, in a statement released by his spokesman, asked Maldivians "to maintain calm" and "respect the democratic process."

On Saturday, police stormed the office of electoral commission head Fuwad Thowfeek, stopping the election.The election chief was quoted by the BBC as saying the disruption was a "dark day for democracy."

Police spokesman Abdulla Nawaz said the vote was disrupted because Thowfeek's panel didn't follow a court order to have a list of voters endorsed by all candidates competing in the election. Thowfeek said he was "very much concerned" by police intervention.

Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed was ousted in an apparent coup in February 2012. The British government said a mid-2012 decision to establish a commission of inquiry into the ouster was an "important step forward" for Maldivian democracy.

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