London dismayed by election delays in the Maldives

Nov. 12, 2013 at 11:57 AM
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LONDON, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Tuesday he was "deeply dismayed" by delays in the Maldivian presidential election.

"I am deeply dismayed by further delays to the presidential elections in Maldives," he said in a statement. "It is clear that some political actors are not working in the interests of the Maldivian people."

The Supreme Court in Maldives interrupted a second round of voting Sunday, saying moving ahead would jeopardize the constitutional rights of its people. Saturday's election was inconclusive.

"Since the initial vote, now over two months ago, the democratic process has continually been subject to unreasonable demands and delays," Hague said. "Such delays only serve to increase the strain on democracy, as well as Maldives' international reputation and already fragile economy."

Maldives gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1965.

Incumbent President Mohamed Waheed Hassan said he'd stay on past the end of his current term, which expired last weekend. Hague said that decision was a "clear contravention" to the Maldivian constitution.

The New York Times reported Monday police clashed with protesters following the election delay and the president's announcement.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki called for "a free, fair, transparent and inclusive runoff election that results in the prompt inauguration of the new president."

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