Maldives poll panel moves to finalise presidential election date

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EC
Male, Oct 20: The Elections Commission (EC) of Maldives plans to hold talks with the government and political parties on Sunday to finalise the date of the presidential election that should have been held Saturday as planned earlier.

In a statement issued Saturday night, the EC pointed to the need for certain "political assurances" from political parties to make the presidential election possible, Xinhua reported.

The EC stated that all commission members believed that the election must be held as early as possible and they hoped to announce the election date Sunday after discussions with the government and political parties.

The Maldives president earlier urged the EC to hold the delayed presidential election Oct 26.

Nasheed won the first round of polling on Sep 7 with 45.45 percent of the vote.

The Elections Commissioner called off the presidential polls just an hour ahead of voting Saturday morning citing technical wrangling over the electoral list by two candidates and lack of support from the police.

A previous round of voting held Sep 7 was annulled by the Supreme Court earlier this month after two candidates alleged mass vote rigging despite international monitors saying polling was free and fair.

Former president Mohammad Nasheed, who was controversially ousted from power in February 2012, won the first round of polling on Sep 7 with 45.45 percent of the vote. He was the only candidate to sign the electoral list and call for the elections to be held as scheduled.

IANS

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