Maldives: Preparations for Presidential elections delayed

Delays mar Maldives' elections
Male, Nov 7: Embattled Maldives elections officials said on Thursday the delay in signing the crucial voters' lists by one of the presidential candidates has disrupted the arrangements for Saturday's presidential re-vote.

Gasim Ibrahim, a candidate from the Jumhoory Party, has said the party would finish signing the lists by sundown at the current pace, reports Xinhua.

But Elections Commission member Ali Mohamed Manik told media that this would put the arrangements significantly behind schedule.

The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party has finished signing the lists, and the Progressive Party of Maldives is on course to complete the process soon.

However, the Jumhoory Party has only managed to sign the lists of just five atolls, so far, Manik said. The commission has been forced to postpone the dispatching of the lists and ballot slips to the atolls, he added.

Maldives to have presidential elections on Nov 9

The commission had scheduled to dispatch ballot slips and voters' lists to polling stations on Thursday morning.
Manik remained sceptical even with the re-scheduled time.

"The dispatching which had been scheduled for this morning has been postponed to the afternoon. But as things stand now, it's unlikely that we would make it even at that time. Already we're behind schedule by five hours," he said.

Maldives election officials are scrambling to hold presidential elections on Saturday, in what will be the third attempt to elect a head of the state before a constitutional deadline of Nov 11.

However, if none of the candidates get more than 50 percent of the vote, the Maldives constitution demands a second round of vote between the two top contenders.

The Maldives has been under intense pressure from the international community led by the US and India to resume the democratic process to elect a new president as stipulated in the constitution.


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