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Maldives opposition threatens to boycott presidential polls

English.news.cn   2013-02-20 12:25:13            

MALE, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- The main opposition, the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) on Wednesday threatened to boycott the presidential election in September if its main candidate, former President Mohamed Nasheed, is not allowed to contest.

MDP spokesperson Hamid Abdul Gafoor told Xinhua that the party will also push for an interim government to be in place during the crucial elections.

Nasheed sought refuge in the Indian High Commission in Maldives last week amidst moves to arrest him over a pending case and on Monday a fresh warrant was issued by a local court for him to be arrested.

"The government has been trying to prevent Nasheed from contesting the polls ever since the coup. According to a resolution passed by the party, if Nasheed is not allowed to contest from the MDP, we will boycott the polls," Gafoor said.

The next presidential election in the Maldives is scheduled to be held in September and President Mohamed Hassan Waheed recently assured that elections will be free and fair.

However the MDP has claimed that an interim agreement has to be set in place in order to hold free and fair polls.

"We have already held discussions with UK, India and U.S. and even organisations such as the EU, Commonwealth and UN have urged for an environment where free and fair elections can be conducted. Therefore we are confident that an interim government will be in place," Gafoor said.

The Maldivian government has come under mounting international pressure from several nations who have expressed concern at the current political instability in the island nation.

The September election will be the first presidential polls held in the nation after President Waheed replaced former President Mohamed Nasheed in February last year.

Editor: Tang Danlu
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