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EU Concerned By Maldives Supreme Court Ruling Against Election Officials

The European Union has expressed grave concerns over the recent ruling of the Maldives Supreme Court that disqualified the President and Vice President of the Election Commission, sentenced the President to six months in prison, and convicted all four members of the Election Commission for contempt of Court.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton stressed in a statement issued by her spokesperson late on Wednesday that the Maldives Supreme Court's ruling was a serious setback in the democratic transition of the country.

She commended the fundamental role played by the Maldives Elections Commission in ensuring transparent, inclusive and credible elections, and stressed that an independent and professional Election Commission, functioning in accordance with international standards, is a key institution in a democracy.

Ashton urged the Maldives to complete its parliamentary elections "in line with Constitutional deadlines and international standards, while respecting the independence of the Maldives Election Commission."

She noted that an EU Election Observation Mission has been deployed to the Maldives to observe the "ongoing election process in all its aspects."

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