New Delhi, Oct 18: With uncertainty prevailing in the Maldives on the eve of its fresh presidential election, India Friday said it is “exceedingly important” that free and fair elections are held and a president inaugurated by Nov 11 as mandated by the Maldives constitution.
Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh, who had flown down to Male on Wednesday to speak with political leaders there, said here that India is keen to see a stable, peaceful and prosperous Maldives.
“India believes that a transparent, fair and free democratic political process in Maldives is exceedingly important to bring about a stable, prosperous and peaceful Maldives,” she said.
She said the Sep 7 first round presidential poll, which was cancelled by the Supreme Court, had seen 88 percent voting, overseen by international observers.
The high polling percentage “indicates the high expectations of the people of Maldives in seeing it translated into reality”, she said.
The foreign secretary said she met various interlocutors and all were of the view that the “democratic political process needs to be supported.
“Our hope is that this process is taken forward and we have the inauguration of the new president on Nov 11″as mandated by the constitution, she said.
The new ballot, scheduled for Oct 19, has been bogged down on technical details after two candidates refused to sign the electoral lists needed for the voting to go ahead.
Sujatha Singh had held talks with former president Mohammed Nasheed, who had emerged with the highest votes of over 45 percent in the Sep 7 poll, as well as other candidates.