Male: Maldives on Friday affirmed that the controversy-ridden presidential polls set for tomorrow will go ahead in order to avert a constitutional crisis.
"Maldives is all geared for elections on Saturday," said Masood Imad, the spokesman for Maldivian President Mohammed Waheed.
Tomorrow`s polls will be Maldives` third attempt to elect a president in as many months. The country needs to have a new president in place by November 11 when the current presidential term ends.
"The arrangements are in place for the election on Saturday and if no one crosses the 50 per cent mark, there will be a runoff vote on Sunday," the spokeswoman for the Elections Commission said.
She said authorities were ready to conduct voting across the archipelago as well as a few foreign capitals where Maldivians live, including New Delhi. The electorate is just under 240,000.
The Elections Commission had earlier scheduled a runoff on November 16, but brought it forward to November 10 to avoid a constitutional crisis.
"Both Elections Commission and agents of the three candidates have agreed to reschedule the runoff date. President hopes for smooth and fair elections," Imad said yesterday.
A government spokesman said everything was ready for tomorrow`s ballot and all three parties in the running had agreed on the voters` rolls.
An election official said two of the three parties, which had scuttled the October 19 vote, have given a thumbs-up for the ballot.
Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldivian Democratic Party won the first round of election on September 7, which was was annulled by the Supreme Court which said the voters` list contained ineligible names. Nasheed got 45.45 per cent of the votes in that round, forcing a run-off.