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Maldives set for presidential polls on Saturday

PTI | Last Updated: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - 17:21

Male: After two failed attempts, the Maldives is set to hold its presidential elections on Saturday to avoid a constitutional crisis, with the three warring political parties agreeing on the final voters` list.

The agreement to sign the list was reached after a meeting between the three presidential candidates, Maldivian Democratic Party`s (MDP) Mohamed Nasheed, Progressive Party of Maldives` (PPM) Abdulla Yamin and Jumhoory Party`s (JP) Gasim Ibrahim.

Speaking to reporters after yesterday`s meeting chaired by outgoing president Mohamed Waheed, both Yamin and Gasim, who had been dragging their feet on endorsing the voters` list, said they want a new president to be elected before the constitutional deadline of November 11.

They said they were willing to participate in a runoff, if needed, on Sunday, provided the Elections Commission can facilitate it.

The Supreme Court annulled last month`s first round of presidential vote that was led by Nasheed, citing irregularities and ordering a re-poll under comprehensive guidelines.
However, the re-vote on October 19 was blocked by police at the eleventh hour, plunging the country into fresh turmoil and triggering protest by political parties.
Nasheed, who led the annulled election with more than 45 per cent of the vote, has been calling for fresh elections before the constitutional deadline.

The political scene in Maldives has been in a state of flux since February 2012 when Nasheed, the country`s first democratically elected President, was forced to resign under duress. He was succeeded by Vice-President Waheed.

First Published: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - 17:21

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