NEW YORK (Sept. 4, 2013) — United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on the people of the Maldives to ensure that the presidential elections, set for Saturday, are conducted peacefully.
In a statement issued last night, Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said the Secretary-General “encourages all presidential candidates to respect the election results no matter who wins, and asks that all stakeholders overcome their past differences.”
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 Government set up a National Commission of Inquiry to probe the events leading to the regime change, with the Commission presenting its findings last August. The upcoming elections are seen as an important step in the democratic transition of the country.
Mr. Ban urged Maldivians to “work together in a constructive manner toward national harmony and democratic consolidation.” In particular, he highlighted the need for renewed commitment to the institutional reform process.