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Maldives Supreme Court suspends today's run-off vote

Maldives Supreme Court suspends todays run-off vote

Male: Maldives Supreme Court has ordered the suspension of the run-off presidential re-vote scheduled for Sunday, a day after former president Mohammed Nasheed led the first round but failed to clinch an outright majority.

"All relevant state authorities are informed that today's election cannot take place," the court said.

The order issued by the highest court stated that by holding the run-off the very next day to the first round could undermine the constitutional rights of many people.

The court ordered all state institutions to hold the second round on November 16, saying it "finds Saturday is the best date to hold the run-off".

The order was issued after a defeated candidate asked the Supreme Court to postpone the run-off.

However, Elections Commission President Fuwad Thaufeek had said the run-off will go ahead as scheduled but with a five-hour delay.

In yesterday's crucial vote, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) chief Nasheed bagged 46.4 per cent of the votes, a marginal increase from his previous tally of 45.45 per cent votes in the September 7 polls that were annulled by the Supreme Court, news daily Haveeru reported.

Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) leader Abdullah Yameen made a significant gain of nearly five per cent over the 25.35 per cent of votes he secured in the annulled polls and managed 30.3 per cent of the votes.

Jumhooree Party (JP) leader and resort tycoon Gasim Ibrahim bagged 23.4 per cent of the votes as second runner up.

Yameen said there will not be a runoff today as the elections commission was not sufficiently prepared to hold the second round.

He explained that the voters' list for the run-off had not been prepared in a way that the party could endorse it.

"We went to sign the final list including the people who turned 18 on Sunday. But that was not the list given to us.

We're ready to sign the list as soon as it is provided. But we need at least 48 hours to review the list," Yameen said.

Elections commission had earlier scheduled the runoff on November 16. However, during the meeting between Nasheed, Yamin and Ibrahim with outgoing president Mohamed Waheed Hassan on Wednesday, all candidates had agreed to move up the runoff in the bid to elect a new president before the constitutional deadline of November 11.

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