US concerned by Maldives president's stay in office beyond legitimate term

The United States is concerned the Maldives president's extended stay in office is endangering Maldivians' right to elect a new leader.

Mohamed Waheed said he would stay in office after his term ended last Sunday to avert a constitutional void since the presidential runoff was postponed by the Supreme Court.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says Waheed's "unprecedented decision" has "endangered the Maldivian people's right to elect a leader of their choice."

The first democratically elected president of the country and the brother of a former autocratic ruler qualified for the runoff now scheduled for this Saturday.