UNITED NATIONS, May 9 (Xinhua) -- A senior UN official stressed on Thursday that the upcoming elections in the Maldives represent an important opportunity to move forward with its democratic transition.
As he wrapped up a three-day visit to the South Asian nation, Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, noted that the country is "at critical juncture" when voters go to the polls to elect a new president on Sept.7, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said at the daily news briefing.
"Fernandez-Taranco said that the forthcoming elections will be an important step in the democratic transition," Nesirky said. "He encouraged all political actors to contribute to free, fair, inclusive, credible and non-violent elections."
Multi-party presidential elections were held in the Maldives for the first time in 2008, ending 30 years of one-party rule. Mohamed Nasheed, who was elected in those polls, resigned in February 2012 in contested circumstances, and was succeeded by his former deputy, Mohammed Waheed Hassan.
The UN official also stressed that "while respecting the Constitution, the credibility of the electoral process and acceptability of the results depends on whether all candidates wishing to participate in the presidential elections are able to do so," Nesirky added.