Maldives cancels presidential run-off election


MALE, Sept 27 (Reuters) - The Maldives has cancelled apresidential run-off election that was due to take place onSaturday after the Supreme Court ordered officials to postponeit.

The archipelago's election commission took the decision onFriday - hours after the court, in a special midnight session,ruled the poll should be delayed indefinitely and told securityforces to act against anyone who did not obey its order.

The ruling followed a complaint of voting irregularitiesfrom a losing candidate in the first round of voting on Sept. 7which was won by former President Mohamed Nasheed, whose removalfrom power 20 months ago ignited months of unrest. The run-offwas expected to help end the political turmoil.

"The Supreme Court has ordered security services to preventany effort to hold the election tomorrow. This is why we are notable to hold the run-off election within the constitutionaldeadline of 21 days," the election commission said.

"Therefore voting will not take place on September 28, asthe environment is not conducive to a free, fair and democraticelection," the statement said.

Nasheed secured 45.45 percent in the first round, short ofthe 50 percent needed for outright victory. In the run-off, hewas due to face Abdulla Yameen, half-brother of longtime rulerMaumoon Abdul Gayoom, who came second.

Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party announced mass protestsafter the Supreme Court ruling.

View Comments (0)