The US has hailed the results of the first round of the presidential election in the Maldives as a “victory for the democratic process”.
In a statement, Deputy Spokesperson for the US State Department Marie Harf noted that the results had been “widely hailed as a success” by the Commonwealth, United Nations, and local Maldivian observers.
The comment comes as Jumhooree Party candidate Gasim Ibrahim, who placed third with 24.07 percent and narrowly missed a place in the run-off, contests a case in the Supreme Court seeking annulment of the results, alleging electoral irregularities.
The JP was supported in the ongoing court case by the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM), while Attorney General Azima Shukoor also intervened and criticised the conduct of the Elections Commission.
“As the country prepares for the second round on September 28, the United States and the international community again stand ready to assist Maldivians as they exercise their fundamental right to choose their own government,” declared the US State Department.
“For this final round to be as successful as the previous round, all political parties must respect the democratic process and continue to allow for a free, fair and peaceful vote to take place. We encourage all parties and all presidential candidates to respect the results and work together for a peaceful transition for the benefit of the Maldivian people,” the statement concluded.