Vastavam web: Maldives presidential election will be held in September, the country’s Election Commission chief said late on Friday, a week after the European Union and some Western nations urged the country to hold a transparent, credible poll.The Maldives, home to 400,000 people and best known as a tropical paradise for tourists, has experienced political unrest since Mohamed Nasheed, its first democratically elected leader, was forced to quit amid a mutiny by police in 2012.Elections Commission chief Ahmed Shareef said the 2018 presidential poll will be held on Sept. 23 in “the most transparent and open” manner.
Shareef said observers from eight countries and the EU and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) would be invited.“Unlike previous elections this election will be fully trusted by the people. We will not be withholding any information other than what we have to keep secret lawfully,” he told reporters in Male.The opposition has accused the government of locking up most of its leaders who could challenge Yameen’s bid to be re-elected for his second five-year term, a charge the government denies.
Yameen’s administration has rejected a demand by a U.N. human rights watchdog to let Nasheed stand for the presidential election.Shareef had earlier campaigned for Yameen’s re-election prior to his appointment as the Election Commission chief, and the opposition has criticised him as a biased appointee to the commission, which is meant to be independent.In a tweet, Nasheed said: “MDP primaries proved EC has zero credibility. EC must change to have a genuinely free, fair and inclusive election”.