Maldives opposition objects to presidential election in July 2013

Male, April 19 (Xinhua-ANI): The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) raised strong objections on Thursday over the announcement that presidential elections will be held in July 2013 and not this year.

MDP legislator and international affairs spokesman Hamid Abdul Ghafoor told Xinhua that the government was misleading the international community by claiming it was going for an early election in July 2013.

Maldives President Mohammad Waheed announced on Wednesday that presidential elections will be held in the Maldives in July 2013, the earliest date permitted under the Constitution.

The presidential elections were earlier slated for October 2013 but Waheed had said in a statement that the successful holding of parliamentary by-elections on April 14 showed that elections can be held earlier.

However Ghafoor said his party was not satisfied and insisted that even the international community had been calling for elections in 2012 and not next year.

Ghafoor said that former president and MDP leader Mohamed Nasheed who is currently in India will seek support for elections to be held this year.

He also said that investigations into the circumstances which led to the resignation of Nasheed and the appointment of Waheed as president also need to be concluded soon.

Waheed had said that the government of the Maldives is fully committed to a credible and independent investigation into the events which took place between Jan. 14 and Feb. 8, 2012, and also supports the Commission of National Inquiry, set up to conduct the investigation. (Xinhua-ANI)