Transparency Maldives concerned over bid to annul 'free, fair' election

Transparency Maldives on Sunday expressed grave concern over the bid to annul last month's presidential election urging all parties to respect the will of the Maldivian people.

Maldives president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom filed a legal challenge on Wednesday seeking to annul the election which he lost to the opposition alliance.

Ahead of the hearing on the challenge on Sunday, Transparency Maldives in a statement pointed out that an observer of the elections, there were no issues found in the electoral process that could affect the outcome of the elections.

Yameen lost the September 23 election by a margin of 16 percent to opposition alliance candidate, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, in an outcome hailed as a win for democracy in the crisis-hit archipelago.

The result was widely accepted, including by the United States, China, India, and the European Union.

Yameen conceded defeat a day after the election but has since alleged widespread irregularities in the vote.

The president, who says he will stay on in office until the end of his term on November 17, has offered little evidence to back his claim.

"As noted in our pre-election assessments, while the pre-election environment was systemitacally setup to favour the incumbent, the issues observed on election day itself were not serious enough to impact the outcome of the election," Transparency said noting that the result had been accepted by all parties including the ruling party.

"We call on all parties to uphold the will of the people and facilitate a peaceful transfer of power."