Maldivian presidential election re-run begins Saturday

Male, Nov 16: The re-run of the Maldivian presidential election started on Saturday morning.

Polling stations will be open from 7.30 a.m to 4 p.m. local time. The Maldives has about 2,40,000 legitimate voters, reported Xinhua.

The polling has been rescheduled three times. In the latest delay, the Supreme Court ordered the run-off to be held on Nov 10.

Former president Mohammad Nasheed, leader of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), the single largest party in the country, gained 45.45 percent in the first round of presidential election on Sept 7.

He was well ahead of his rivals of Jumhoory party presidential candidate Gasim Ibrahim and former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom' s half-brother MP Abdulla Yamin from the Progressive Party of Maldives.

But later the result was annulled amid allegations of electoral fraud.

A second attempt to elect a president was made on Oct 19, but was also derailed after Yamin and Gasim failed to sign off on a crucial voter's list as dictated by a set of guidelines issued by the Supreme Court.

Then the election finally took place on Nov 9, but a first attempt to hold a run-off between Nasheed and Yamin the following day was cancelled hours before voting was due to begin as police prevented election officials from distributing voting materials, citing a court order requiring all candidates to approve the voter register.

The Maldives has been bubbling with political discord since Nasheed was ousted from power in February 2012.


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