Maldivian president says he will stay on until run-off

Male: Maldivian President Mohammed Waheed today defied international calls for an interim government until a new president is elected, saying he will stay in office until his successor is sworn in on Novemeber 16.

Waheed made the announcement during an address to the nation following a Supreme Court ruling which prevented a last ditch attempt to elect a new a president before the constitution deadline tomorrow.

President and his cabinet will remain in office without remuneration until November 16 in accordance with Supreme Court ruling delaying the election.

The President assured the people that he will resign from office on November 16 and will not accept any further delays in the election, presidential spokesman Masood Imad said.

The highest court's ruling suspended the run-off election hours before it was due to start, halting a presidential vote for the third time in two months.

In his address, president Waheed said he has always executed his responsibilities since he assumed office last year, to ensure national stability and harmony.

He insisted that he would remain as president until the runoff on Saturday.

Waheed's decision came after the Commonwealth and the United Nations had called on an interim arrangement until a new president is elected.

In yesterday's crucial re-vote, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) chief Mohammed Nasheed emerged a winner but failed to clinch 50 per cent of the votes to avoid a run-off.

Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party (MDT) had warned that the country could be heading for a constitutional crisis without a leader, but the Supreme Court Saturday ruled that outgoing President can remain as a caretaker.