"The United States is deeply concerned about continued legal actions that could further delay the Maldivian presidential election and prevent former President Nasheed from participating," State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf said on Thursday.
    
"With the Maldivian Supreme Court ruling that a new round of elections must be held and the Elections Commissions making preparations for voting by October 20, it is important that the process go forward unimpeded in a fair, inclusive and transparent way," she said in a statement.
    
The Maldives government called all parties to support fresh elections after the Supreme Court annulled last month's polls even though international observers regarded them as free and fair.
    
The independent elections commission said the fresh ballot would be held on October 19 after the court on late Monday annulled the first round of voting on September 7.
    
The previous round was won by Nasheed, who claims he was ousted in a coup last year.
    
"The basis of any democracy is for citizens to choose their government, for political differences to be decided at the ballot box in an environment free of violence and for election results to be respected," Harf said.
    
"We continue to urge a peaceful political process that is inclusive of all candidates in order to ensure the Maldivian election that will meet international standards of an elected, legitimate democracy," she added.
    
The Maldives court cited allegations of electoral fraud in the September poll, which was intended to install a legitimate government after a violent change of power in February 2012 when Nasheed stepped down following a mutiny by police.
    
A new president must be in office by November 11, a deadline set by the 2008 constitution that ended 30 years of one-party rule by autocrat Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

(Agencies)

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