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US ‘deep concern’ as Maldives leader outstays term

November 11, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is expressing deep concern that the president of the Maldives has remained in office past the expiry of his term.

President Mohamed Waheed Hassan announced Sunday that he was staying on to avert a constitutional void after an election runoff to decide who succeeds him was delayed.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Monday Hassan’s action was unprecedented and “has endangered the Maldivian people’s right to elect a leader of their choice.”

Maldivians voted Saturday, their third attempt to elect a president this year. Frontrunner Mohamed Nasheed did not win the 50 percent required for outright victory.

Psaki called for the quick conclusion of a free and fair run-off, due next Saturday, and for military and police in the Indian Ocean island nation to show restraint.

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