`Deeply concerned` Ban Ki-moon calls for speedy presidential elections in Maldives
Islamabad: United Nations head Ban Ki-moon has expressed concern to the cancellation of presidential election in the Maldives that has heightened tensions in the Indian Ocean nation.
UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said that Ban is `deeply concerned` by the new delay in the vote and called for "political leaders and state institutions to live up to their responsibilities.
He also called on the leaders in Maldives to respect the democratic process and participate in a credible, peaceful and inclusive re-run election as soon as possible
According to Dawn News, Maldives police on Saturday halted an election runoff that opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed was expected to win.
Nasheed, who was toppled as Maldives leader 20 months ago, has called on President Mohamed Waheed to step down and let the speaker of parliament conduct a fresh presidential vote, the report said.
Ban said the vote should be held as quickly as possible so that a new president can be inaugurated on 11 November in accordance with the constitution.
The UN has sent an envoy to the Maldives several times in a bid to press for a negotiated end to political tensions in the state, which adopted multi-party democracy in 2008, it added.
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