Don`t undermine democratic process: India to Maldives parties
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Last Updated: Thursday, October 17, 2013, 20:54
  
New Delhi: With Maldives slated to have fresh presidential polls on Saturday, India is believed to have conveyed to the political spectrum there its desire to see that the democratic process was not undermined as it would lead to instability.

India's sentiment was conveyed by Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh who rushed to Maldives yesterday and returned home tonight, sources said.

During her brief stay there, she met leaders across the political spectrum, including President Mohamed Waheed and his predecessor Mohamed Nasheed, they said.

The visit assumes significance as India is keen to avert a repeat of the situation last month when the elections were annulled by the Supreme Court and fresh polls ordered.

In that balloting, Nasheed had got 45.45 per cent votes. However, a candidate requires to cross the 50 per cent mark for the poll process to be complete.

If this does not happen, the country will see a run-off between the two leading contenders and the process has to be completed by November 11.

This has got into controversy as Qasim Ibrahim, who emerged third in last month's elections, has opposed the run-off. He has approached the court, claiming that last month's electoral exercise was not fair.

After last month's episode, India had expressed the hope that the second round of Presidential elections will be held in a similar transparent, organised and peaceful manner.

"As a long-standing friend of Maldives committed to strengthening the institutions of democracy in the country, India believes that it is of utmost importance that the electoral process is allowed to proceed unhindered so that the second round is conducted according to schedule and the will of the people of Maldives is fully recognised," External Affairs Ministry had said.

PTI

First Published: Thursday, October 17, 2013, 20:54


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