Male, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- The Maldivian government has appealed for calm while urging for the resumption of presidential elections that were disrupted by a Supreme Court postponement, heightening tension here on Wednesday.
Protests erupted in the Indian Ocean archipelago this week as the Supreme Court issued an interim order indefinitely postponing a second round of voting scheduled for Sept. 28.
However the Elections Commission continues to prepare for the polls hoping for a last minute change of mind by the four judges that signed the suspension.
Incumbent President Mohammad Waheed came in last with a humiliating 5 percent of the vote during the first round of voting on Sept. 7.
He will have to hand over power to the winner of the second round, which is being fought between former President Nasheed who Waheed ousted from power in 2012 and former President Abdul Gayoom' s half-brother Abdulla Yamin.
"The government is keen that there is an early resolution of the case and a date for the second round of Election is issued by the concerned authorities," Waheed's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
"The government also urges all political parties to maintain peace and calm in the country and refrain from inciting any form of violence aimed at disrupting public order," it added.
The call for restraint clearly refers to Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) that has vowed to protest continuously until a date for the polling is announced.
Local reports indicate that at least one member of parliament was arrested by police on Tuesday while others were pepper sprayed as they participated in a protest.
Nasheed bagged 45.45 percent of the vote but failed to obtain a crucial 50 percent mandate that would have prevented a second round run off.
He was expected to go head-to-head in a second round of voting on Sept. 28 against Abdulla Yamin who grabbed 25.35 percent of the vote.
However, tycoon Gasim Ibrahim who crossed the finish line in third place after polling some 3,000 votes less than Yamin, lodged a case citing instances of vote rigging resulting in the polls being deferred by the Maldives Supreme Court.
The Commonwealth, Australia, regional super power India and the United Nations (UN) have joined in the call for swift resumption of elections and appealed for calm.
United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's office in a statement noted he is "concerned" of the decision by the Supreme Court and said the run-off should be held "as soon as possible."
"These are pivotal elections for reaffirming the democratic process in the Maldives," said a statement issued by Ban's spokesperson.
"The people of the Maldives have exhibited great patience and should have the opportunity, without undue delay, to exercise their vote."
The UN has reiterated that the first round of the presidential election, had been widely recognized as a success by international and domestic election observers.
India has warned postponement could trigger violence in a repeat performance of what took place when Nasheed was removed as president in February 2012.
Australia has also assured that the international community will continue to watch developments in the Maldives very closely.