EU lauds Maldives top court for 'respecting people's will'

European Union (EU) on Monday welcomed the decision of Maldives' apex court to 'respect the will of the people' after the court rejected a bid by defeated president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom to annul last month's presidential elections.

EU said the decision by the Supreme Court also paves the way for an orderly transfer of power.

"We look forward to working with the future government of Maldives and expect the full restoration of democratic institutions," EU said in a Tweet.

The five judge Supreme Court bench unanimously ruled that despite the concerns of vote rigging and electoral fraud, president Yameen had failed to provide sufficient claims to back his claims.

The case largely accused the Elections commission of using pens with disappearing ink while ballot papers had also been laced with a chemical that wiped votes for president Yameen.

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 had alleged widespread irregularities in the vote.

The EU meanwhile has adopted a framework for targeted sanctions including asset freeze and travel ban on key government officials over the worsening human rights and political situation in the archipelago.

Foreign Affairs Council during its sit-down in Brussels adopted the framework for targeted restrictive measures against persons and entities responsible for undermining the rule of law or obstructing an inclusive political solution in the Maldives as well as persons and entities responsible for serious human rights violations.