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Maldives assures U.S. of free and fair elections


08:24, June 03, 2013

MALE, June 2 (Xinhua) -- The Maldives on Sunday assured the United States that the presidential election scheduled to be held in September will be free and fair.

The assurance was given when the Ambassador of the United States accredited to the Maldives, Michele J. Sison, paid a courtesy call on President Mohamed Waheed, the President's Office said.

At the meeting on Sunday, discussions were held on the current political and economic state of the Maldives and preparations for the upcoming presidential elections.

"The President assured that the government would do everything possible to make the elections free and fair. He also stressed the importance of having international elections observers in the country," the President's Office said.

Ambassador Sison said the United States would give its support and cooperation for the economic and political stability of the Maldives.

The U.S. envoy also met the leader of the opposition Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) and former President Mohamed Nasheed separately.

Nasheed had accused the government of President Waheed of removing him from power in February last year in a coup.

He has since been pushing for the Presidential elections and has already begun campaigning by visiting the atolls of the Maldives.

Last week the MDP accused the government of attempting to disrupt its campaign for the elections.

Nasheed had cut short his election campaign at Raa atoll and returned to the capital Male on Wednesday to attend a court hearing, only to find that the case had been cancelled.

Nasheed's spokesperson Mariya Did said that the disruption to Nasheed's campaign trip to Raa atoll was an unnecessary, politically motivated challenge.

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