Protests as Maldives Supreme Court suspends elections

MALÉ, September 23, 2013 (AFP) – The Supreme Court of the Maldives on Monday suspended presidential elections due this weekend following a legal challenge, sparking protests and fears of fresh instability in the troubled Indian Ocean archipelago. “The Elections Commission got the opportunity to argue out their case and establish the credibility of the process,” he said.

Regional power India and the United Nations had called on the Maldives authorities to hold credible elections that would resolve the instability in the strategically located country.

Nasheed came to power in 2008 when he defeated Gayoom in the country’s first free presidential elections. The directive came in response to a case filed by a political party demanding that the results of the first round on September 7 be annulled because of alleged discrepancies.

“We order the Elections Commission and other relevant state institutions to delay the second round of the presidential election scheduled for 28 September 2013 until the Supreme Court issues a verdict in this case,” read the ruling from the Supreme Court.

The final round of voting on Saturday was seen as a test for the young democracy a year and a half after the violent ousting of the country’s first democ