Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday welcomed the conclusion of the run-off of the presidential election in the Maldives, and urged everyone in the country to work together to advance the democratic process.
“Once again, the people of the Maldives have turned out to vote in impressive numbers, showing their determination to choose their next president, despite the many obstacles and delays,” said a statement issued by Mr. Ban's spokesperson.
Yaamin Abdul Gayoom has reportedly been sworn in today in the capital, Male, after defeating former president Mohamed Nasheed in the run-off poll held yesterday. This brings to a close a process that began with the first vote on 7 September, which was later annulled by the Supreme Court amid allegations of electoral fraud. A re-run planned for 19 October was further delayed, before finally being held on 9 November.
Mr. Ban noted the preliminary assessment by election observers that the run-off poll was administered in a “transparent and professional” manner, and said the close contest highlighted the need for the new administration to engage the opposition in a constructive manner and “to lead the country in the interest of all Maldivians.”
In addition, the Secretary-General strongly urged all political leaders, state institutions and the Maldivian people to work urgently toward genuine reconciliation and to advance the country's democratic process through long-term institutional reforms, in particular strengthening the judiciary and accountability mechanisms, and promoting a national dialogue.