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Maldives` Waheed rules out early elections

Last Updated: Saturday, August 25, 2012 - 00:49

Colombo: Maldivian President Mohamed Waheed on Friday appeared to be falling back on his government`s promise of an early election to quell unrest in his country in the aftermath of the toppling of an elected government.

Waheed`s government had reportedly given an undertaking to both India -- that mediated at the time of the conflict -- and the Commonwealth that elections would be held within 2012.

However, addressing reporters here today at the end of his official visit, Waheed said, "even at the time we gave that undertaking we knew it was not possible to hold early elections".

The pledge at that time was a change from the public position that elections would be constitutionally possible only after July 2013.

Waheed succeeded Mohamed Nasheed early in February this year under dubious circumstances, in what Nasheed`s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) termed a coup.

Waheed came under pressure to order an independent inquiry (COI) into the February 7 events which toppled Nasheed after the Commonwealth sought an independent probe.

The Commission of Inquiry is expected to announce its findings by end of this month.

Asked if he would resign depending on the outcome of the COI, Waheed said "I will have to seek legal opinion".

Asked if he would offer to be the president of Maldives yet again, he said he would consider the option.

MDP presses for early elections and have named Nasheed as its presidential candidate.


First Published: Saturday, August 25, 2012 - 00:49
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