Maldives moves up runoff to Sunday to avoid deadlock
Male: After two failed attempt to elect a president, Maldivian authorities on Thursday decided to move up the possible runoff of the presidential re-vote to Sunday to avoid any constitutional crisis in case there is no clear winner in Saturday's polls.
"Both Elections Commission and agents of the three candidates have agreed to reschedule the runoff date," Maldivian President Mohammed Waheed's Press Secretary Masood Imad told PTI.
"President hopes for smooth and fair elections," he said.
Elections Commission had earlier scheduled the runoff on November 16.
As per the Maldivian Constitution, the election process should be completed in such a manner that a new President takes office by the deadline of November 11.
There are three candidates in the fray for the top post.
The three candidates are — Mohammed Nasheed, leader of Maldivian Democratic Party, Progressive Party of Maldives' leader Abdullah Yameen and Gasim Ibrahim from Jumhoory Party.
During the polls held on September 7, Nasheed got 45.45 per cent of the votes, leading to a run-off because he did not get the mandatory 50 per cent of the votes.
However, the run-off was cancelled by the Supreme Court which then ordered fresh polls but police blocked a presidential re-vote on October 19, plunging the country into a fresh crisis.
After the country's first democratically elected President, Nasheed, resigned under duress in February 2012, he was succeeded by Waheed, who was then Vice-President.
The Maldives has been in political turmoil ever since Nasheed's removal.
Waheed's term ends on November 11 and if no new candidate is elected, it might spark a constitutional crisis in the nascent democracy.