Maldives presidential elections postponed

MALE: Presidential elections due to be held in Maldives on Saturday have been postponed after police declared the vote illegal and blocked ballot papers from leaving the offices of the independent Elections Commission, Dispatch News Desk reported.

In a statement issued on Saturday, Commission Chairman Fuwad Thowfeek said that “We continued with preparations for voting, but the Maldives Police Service have said no documents connected to the election can leave the commission’s offices.”

“A new date for elections will be informed later,” he added.

On the other hand, Police spokesman Abdulla Nawaz said that they considered it illegal to stage the election in violation of a Supreme Court order that required all candidates to approve electoral lists.

“Only one candidate had signed the voter register and therefore it would have been a violation of the Supreme Court guidelines for the election to go ahead,” he said.

The first round of the voting was held on September 7, in which former president Mohamed Nasheed won 45.45 percent of the ballot. However, he fell short of securing the 50 percent needed for absolute victory.

The Supreme Court of the Maldives annulled the results of the first round over allegations of irregularities and the run-off vote that was scheduled to take place on September 28 was suspended.