COLOMBO  - A Maldivian court Monday suspended the trial of former president Mohamed Nasheed, who maintains that the case against him is designed to thwart his re-election bid in September, his party said.

Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party said they secured an order from the High Court freezing the proceedings of the lower Hulhumale Magistrates’ Court (HMC) which had scheduled another hearing for Wednesday.

“I have just seen the High Court order halting the HMC hearing pending a ruling on the legality of the (HMC) bench,” party spokeswoman Shauna Aminath told AFP. “This means there won’t be a hearing as previously scheduled on Wednesday.” Nasheed’s successor Mohamed Waheed is under international and regional pressure to allow an “inclusive” election in which all political parties can field candidates without any hindrance.

Nasheed, the country’s first democratically elected leader who came to power in 2008, says the abuse of power charges against him are politically motivated and aimed at disqualifying him from the September 7 presidential election. Police detained him overnight earlier last month, defying pressure from regional power India which had called for him to be free to campaign.

India, which moved to end a political standoff in the Maldives in February after Nasheed sought refuge at its embassy to avoid arrest, has said it is monitoring developments closely.

The United States, Britain and Canada have also expressed concern and called on the government in the Maldives to ensure that all candidates can take part in election campaigning.

Male has been racked by violence and political infighting since February 2012 when Nasheed was ousted following a mutiny by security forces and street protests.