Maldives political parties agree to EC`s new poll dates
Male: Main parties in Maldives on Tuesday pledged to cooperate with authorities to hold the controversy-ridden presidential re-vote on November 9, as political uncertainty loomed large with the constitutional deadline to elect a new President fast-approaching.
In a message posted on a social networking site yesterday, Elections Commission President Fuwad Thowfeek said, "Dear all, first round of presidential elections to be held on Nov 9 and second round on Nov 16."
According to the provisions of the Maldivian Constitution, the election process should be completed in such a manner that a new President takes over on November 11.
Mohamed Nasheed, who led the annulled election with more than 45 per cent of the vote, would contest the election set for new dates but has insisted that President Mohammed Waheed must resign, the former President`s spokesman Hamid Abdul Ghafoor was quoted as saying by media reports.
Nasheed`s rivals at the election would be Progressive Party of Maldives candidate Abdullah Yameen, a brother of Maldives` former autocratic ruler Abdul Gayoom, and Jumhoory Party candidate Gasim Ibrahim.
Jumhoory Party (JP) and Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) also pledged to cooperate with the Elections Commission to hold the presidential re-vote on November 9, Haveeru Online reported.
"We will cooperate with the Elections Commission if they follow the guideline. We have no problems with the dates set by the Elections Commission. We believe that the dates have been announced after discussions between the government and the Elections Commission. This party is ready for polls," PPM deputy leader and MP Abdu Raheem was quoted as saying.
According to Raheem, the Elections Commission will have the full cooperation of PPM even in the runoff which has been set for November 16.
JP campaign steering committee chair Umar Naseer welcomed the announcement of the dates for the re-run.
"There will be no more issues with the new dates given by the Elections Commission. Continuity of government has been in Maldives and throughout the world. Earlier the Parliament also remained until the parliamentary polls. So there will be no problems if the runoff is held on November 16, " Naseer said.
With regard to the runoff going beyond the constitutional deadline of November 11 to elect a new president, deputy elections commissioner Ahmed Fayaz pointed out that it was not the mandate of the Commission to find an interim arrangement for the five days the President`s post will be vacant.
Supreme Court annulled last month`s first round citing irregularities and ordered a re-run under a comprehensive guideline.
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