Maldives Supreme Court calls for fresh Presidential vote
Zee Media Bureau
Male: In a setback for former president Mohammed Nasheed, who had emerged victorious in the September 7 polls, the country’s Supreme Court has annulled the first round of presidential poll, reports said.
Declaring the September 7 polls as null and void, a seven-judge bench of the Supreme Court ruled that the first round of presidential polls will be rescheduled for October 20th and a fresh election must be held before November 03, President Mohammed Waheed`s Press Secretary Masood Imad told a news agency.
According to the Maldivian Constitution, a run-off election must be scheduled within 21 days of a first round if no candidate gains more than 50 per cent of the vote.
The Supreme Court’s decision comes as a dampener for ousted president Mohammed Nasheed, who won the first round but did not garner 50 percent votes.
Nasheed bagged 45.45 per cent of the vote and thus was set to face a run-off against Abdullah Yameen on September 28, which was postponed by the apex court last month after a plea by Jumhooree Party (JP) which stood third.
The Jumhooree Party plea alleged discrepancies in the polling and demanded that the results be annulled.
In further details, the Election Commission was also ordered to print fresh ballot papers with new security features and to follow strict guidelines during polling, Maldivian High Commissioner to India Mohamed Naseer told a news agency.
Maldives has been in a state of political instability since Feb 2012 when Nasheed was ousted and was replaced by Mohammed Waheed.
With PTI inputs