Nasheed wins 1st round of Maldives` presidential polls, faces run-off on Sept 28
Male: Former president Mohammed Nasheed, who emerged as the clear winner in the first round of presidential polls in Maldives but fell short of a majority on Sunday said his victory in the September 28 run-off would be more emphatic as his rivals launched parleys to defeat him in the second round.
The second round became necessary after none of the candidates managed to get more than 50 per cent of votes in yesterday`s election, prolonging the political uncertainty in the in the Indian Ocean archipelago.
The closest to reach the half way mark was former president Nasheed with 45.45 per cent of votes, according to preliminary results announced by Election Commission here today after night-long counting.
Nasheed, the Maldives` first democratically elected president who was forced from office in February 2012, received 95,224 votes.
Nasheed, 46, was followed by the brother of former President Abdul Gayoom, Abdullah Yameen, who received 25.35 per cent votes (53,099), Gasim Ibrahim of the Jumhooree Party got 24.07 per cent (50,422) votes and the present incumbent Waheed Hassan received 5.13 per cent (10,750) votes.
Over 88 per cent votes were cast during the elections.
"These are preliminary results. We will be getting ballot papers from various islands in two days and if required corrections would be made by September 14 after which final results will be announced. But these corrections are not likely to have major impact on the results," President Election Commission Fuwad Taufeek said.
Nasheed expressed hope that the runoff results would seal his return to power 18 months after he was toppled.
"The overwhelming win for opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) in the first round of Maldives` presidential elections on Saturday, has guaranteed victory in the runoff slated for September 28," Nasheed said.
Speaking to the media for the first time after yesterday`s vote, Nasheed said his Maldivian Democratic Party`s second round win would be even more emphatic.
"I believe that this result is excellent in a country that has been plunged into political turmoil," he said.
The second round of polls may be a tough fight for Nasheed as his opponents have entered in talks to form an alliance against him.
Jumhooree Party and Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) are negotiating to join hands in the second round in which latter`s candidate Yameen would face Nasheed, sources said.
The two parties had joined hands during country-wide agitations against 500-million USD airport development project contract awarded to Indian infrastructure major GMR during Nasheed`s tenure.
Meanwhile, Yameen told a press conference that he has entered in discussion with President Waheed Hassan`s party for an alliance for the second round of polls.
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