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Maldives Presidential elections rescheduled for November 9

Male, Oct 23 (): Maldives officials rescheduled the presidential election of the country for November 9 after police prevented the scheduled vote this past weekend due to a conflict with a Supreme Court ruling.

After an international backlash over the emergency cancellation of an election scheduled for last weekend, the Elections Commission said late Monday that a new poll would be held on November 9. Also in a post on Twitter, Commission chairman Fuwad Thowfeek said that a run-off would take place on November 16 if no candidate won more than 50 percent of votes.

President of Elections Commission Fuad Thaufeeg at a press conference said that this announcement follows discussions with representatives appointed by the government and the presidential candidates. Fuad said that their plans have also been discussed with the technical team of the Elections Commission.

Opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) candidate Mohamed Nasheed had emerged victorious in the September 7 polls which were later annulled by the Supreme Court. The Court ruled that the preparations of the EC had “broadly facilitated fraud, undue influence and corruption”.

Nasheed was elected president in the first multi-party election of the country in 2008, when he defeated Gayoom’s 30-year autocratic rule. But, he resigned last year after weeks of public protest over his order to arrest a senior judge he perceived to be corrupt and partial.

The second effort to hold the election on October 19 was also failed after police withdrew their logistical support, informing EC staff that they would be prevented from moving any election-related documents out of the commission’s premises.

Nasheed’s competitors at the election would be Yaamin Abdul Gayoom, a brother of Maldives’ longtime autocratic ruler Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, and tourist resort owner Qasim Ibrahim.

Maldives known for its luxurious vacation destination, has seen much disturbance in the five years it has been a democracy.