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Maldives poll panel halts presidential poll

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Wed, Sep 25, 2013 03:20 hrs

Male, Sep 25 (IANS) The Maldives Election Commission stopped all preparations for the presidential polls to be held this month following the Supreme Court's decision to delay the runoff.

The apex court of the Maldives issued an interim order Monday indefinitely postponing the presidential elections that are expected this weekend, sparking protests from political parties, reports Xinhua.

The decision came in the wake of tycoon Gasim Ibrahim, who lodged a case at the Supreme Court asking that the first round of voting, which took place on Sep 7, be cancelled because of vote rigging allegations.

However, local and international monitors insist there were no instances of vote rigging and that Gasim's Jumhoory Party (JP) has so far been unable to provide evidence of election corruption.

Vice president of the commission Ahmed Fayaz Hassan told media that they had stopped all processes related to the polls following the decision.

However, the commission is currently observing and holding discussions over the Supreme Court order, he added.

The order was issued after all administrative processes of the runoff had been completed, and ballot papers had also been dispatched to polling stations for the runoff.

Ousted president Mohammad Nasheed, who won the first round of voting, has called on the election commission to ignore the Supreme Court and hold the polls as previously planned.

Scattered protests were seen in the Maldives capital by Nasheed supporters following the order.

Nasheed, the country's first democratically elected president, got an impressive 45.45 percent of the vote in the first round, but failed to obtain a crucial 50 percent that would have prevented the run-off.




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