EU reiterates calls for fair election in Maldives

2013-02-01 12:26:29 GMT2013-02-01 20:26:29(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

MALE, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) on Friday reiterated calls for a free and fair election in the Maldives this year.

The head of delegation of EU to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Ambassador Bernard Savage told Xinhua that this expectation had been conveyed by top EU officials.

He also noted that a report by a Commission of National Inquiry which is now in the midst of controversy had earlier been backed by all political parties in the Maldives.

"When the Commission of National Inquiry was formed all the political parties in the Maldives welcomed it although now there is some controversy over it," Savage said.

The Commission was assigned to look into the transfer of power in the Maldives last February when the then-President Mohammed Nasheed resigned and the new President was appointed.

Nasheed had claimed that he was forced to resign in order to set the path for its Vice President Mohammad Waheed Hassan to be appointed as President.

However the Commission in its report concluded that Nasheed's resignation was brought about by his own actions, not under duress.

Outraged supporters of the former president and his Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) took to the streets in protest, rejecting the report and calling for early elections.

International organisations such as the United Nations and the Commonwealth have however welcomed the report and since then urged all parties in the Maldives to move forward peacefully.

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