Maldivian president committed to free and fair polls

2013-02-03 11:01:19 GMT2013-02-03 19:01:19(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

MALE, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- Maldivian President Mohammad Waheed Hassan on Sunday said he and his government was fully committed to a free and fair election this year.

His statement came days after top European Union officials reiterated calls for free and fair polls in the Maldives and had conveyed this expectation to the necessary parties.

President Waheed also urged the Elections Commission to declare the election date 'as soon as possible'.

EU officials earlier this week 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.

The Commission of National Inquiry (CoNI) was appointed 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 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 UN 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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