US questions Maldives’ commitment to democracy
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US questions Maldives’ commitment to democracy

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — The United States has questioned the Maldives government’s commitment to democracy after the country’s highest court sacked the elections commissioner and gave him a suspended six-month jail term for contempt of court. The court also gave his deputy the same sentence.

State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki in a statement Monday called the trial and conviction of commissioners Fuwad Thoufeek and Ahmed Fayaz an “unprecedented expansion of judicial powers.”

The two were fired Sunday after a months-long conflict between the judiciary and the Elections Commission over the Supreme Court’s conduct in last year’s presidential election in which President Yameen Abdul Gayoom was elected.

The jail terms were suspended for a three-year period.