[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

Maldives sets new date for postponed election

Presidential candidate Mohamed Nasheed warns of 'constitutional void' if polls delayed beyond new date of November 9.

Last Modified: 22 Oct 2013 03:16
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Presidential candidate Mohamed Nasheed and his party members wave at supporters at a march [Reuters]

The Maldives will hold a new presidential election on November 9, the election commission said, two days after the police stopped the vote taking place.

The archipelago nation has been in turmoil since February 2012 when former president Mohamed Nasheed was removed in what his supporters called a coup.

Nasheed, who won the Maldives' first free election in 2008 and was frontrunner for Saturday's halted vote, warned on Sunday of a "constitutional void" if a new election was not held before the term of the current president, Mohamed Waheed, ends on November 11.

He demanded the resignation of Waheed, who in turn said he would carry the country forward "without any bloodshed" and had no desire to stay in office beyond the deadline.

The police said they stopped the vote because they could not support an election held in contravention of the Supreme Court guidelines after some candidates failed to sign a new voter register.

Nasheed's supporters condemned it as a new coup.

"We have decided to hold the first round of presidential elections on November 9, and if necessary, a second round on November 16," Elections Commissioner Fuwad Thowfeek told reporters in the capital Male.

He said the commission set the date after discussions with the political parties and the government.

World powers, including the Commonwealth, the United States and Britain, condemned as a threat to democracy the delay to Saturday's polls, which came just weeks after the Supreme Court had annulled a first attempt to hold the election on September 7, citing allegations of fraud.

Waheed, who was Nasheed's vice president and took power when he was removed, said he did not want to stay in the office "even a day beyond November 11".

"I have to consider the country's interests to carry the country forward without any bloodshed," he said.

Nasheed has called for blocking of all streets in Male and bring the densely populated island and the capital of the archipelago to a standstill after the delay in the polls.

Nasheed had looked set to return to office when he won the first round of the election on September 7, putting him in a good position to win a run-off vote set for September 28.

But it was cancelled by the Supreme Court citing fraud despite international observers saying the election was free and fair.

361

Source:
Reuters
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Frustration grows in Kiev as pledges to end corruption and abuse of power stagnate after Maidan Square protest.
Thousands of Houthi supporters have called for the fall of Yemen's government. But what do the Houthis really want?
New ration reductions and movement restrictions have refugees from Myanmar anxious about their future in Thailand.
US lawyers say poor translations of election materials disenfranchise Native voters.
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
join our mailing list