Maldives EC calls off re-vote after police intervene

Male: In yet another hurdle in the democratic process, Maldives Election Commission today called off Presidential polls after the police prevented it from going ahead with the controversy-ridden re-vote, triggering demands for international intervention by a leading party.
 
Minutes before voting was scheduled to start today, the EC issued a statement saying police blocked officials from conducting a presidential revote.
 
The police said they would not support an election held in contravention of the Supreme Court verdict and guidelines.
 
"As we continued with (preparation for) voting, the Maldives Police Services have said no document relating to the election can leave the commission's offices, stopping the election," said a statement issued by the Election Commission.
 
"When we are informed of the next date for the election, we will announce the election," the Minivan News quoted the statement as saying.
 
The Supreme Court had annulled results of the first round of polling held on September 7 and ordered fresh polls before October 20 after hearing a petition on alleged electoral fraud filed by third placed candidate Qasim Ibrahim.
 
In that balloting, former President Mohamed Nasheed, 46, got 45.45 per cent votes. However, a candidate needs to cross the 50 per cent mark for the poll process to be complete.
 
Reacting to the development, Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party spokesperson and a member of 'Majlis' Abdul Gafur told PTI over phone that this entire machinery – police, army, President Mohammed Waheed and Supreme Court – which is opposing democratic process has been validated by international community after "coup" in February 2012.