Maldives hits out at U.S. over sanctions threats

‘It is imposing undue influence on poll’
The Maldives has hit out at the United States after it warned of possible sanctions against key officials of the island nation if the upcoming election is not free and fair. President Donald Trump’s administration warned the Maldives on Thursday of possible sanctions if it doesn’t reverse democratic backsliding and ensure free presidential election on September 23.
In a statement posted late on Friday on the Foreign Ministry website, the Maldives said it views the U.S. statement as “as an act of intimidation, imposing undue influence on the democratic processes of a sovereign state.” It urged the U.S. and others “to allow the people of the Maldives to freely decide on 23 September on who should lead them for the next five years.” The U.S. remarks came amid accusations from the Maldivian Opposition that the election will not be free and fair. Opposition presidential candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has expressed fears that the government would rig the election. The government rejected Mr. Solih’s claims, saying it would not unduly influence the election.
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