Maldives rejects US criticism of judiciary

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News,World,Foreign Policy,Maldives

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — The Maldives government has rejected U.S. criticism of its judiciary after it sacked the country's top election officials amid a political crisis.

A statement from the president's office says criticism from Washington amounted to undermining the Maldives' Constitution and the process of strengthening democracy.

The United States criticized a Supreme Court order sacking the Elections Commissioner and his deputy for contempt of court and questioned the Indian Ocean archipelago's commitment to democracy. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki described the order as an "unprecedented expansion of judicial powers."

The court removed commissioner Fuwad Thowfeek and handed him a six-moth jail term, suspended for three years, while his deputy Ahmed Fayaz was fired without a jail term.

The decision came after months of conflict between the Elections Commission and the judiciary.

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