Ex-president Nasheed confident of Maldives election

Last Updated: Fri, Oct 18, 2013 09:20 hrs

Colombo, Oct 18 (IANS) Despite his rivals refusing to sign an all-important electoral list, necessary for the Maldives presidential elections to be held, former president Mohamed Nasheed Friday signed the document and expressed confidence that polling will go ahead as scheduled Saturday.

Speaking to reporters after signing the list in Male Friday, Nasheed said his two rivals and the people want the elections to be held Oct 19, Xinhua reported.

However, Jumhoory Party (JP) presidential candidate Gasim Ibrahim and Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) candidate Abdulla Yamin or their representatives are yet to sign the voters' list which needs to be dispatched to all polling stations for Saturday's voting.

Nasheed further said both his rivals had assured him and foreign envoys that they wish the polls to be held Saturday.

But holding elections Saturday now hinges on the signing of the electoral list by the candidates.

The Supreme Court had annulled the first round of elections which were held Sep 7 and ordered fresh polls after hearing a petition on allegations of electoral fraud made by third placed candidate Ibrahim Gasim.

In the 16-point guidelines issued with the verdict, the highest court stated that for voting to commence in the Maldives and abroad, the voters' register must contain the voter's name, permanent address and identity card number and must be approved by the Elections Commission and the candidates or their representatives.

Nasheed urged his rival candidates to put aside personal interests for the sake of the rights of the people.

Nasheed secured 45.45 percent of the vote in an election which international observers including India said were free and fair.

Business tycoon Gasim demanded that the first round be annulled by the Supreme Court, alleging massive election corruption despite international monitors saying polling was free and fair.

India and the US have called for resumption of polling at the earliest possible opportunity.

India's Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh arrived in Male Wednesday and had discussions with the candidates in an attempt to push forward with the elections.

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