News / Asia

Maldives Sets Nov. 9 for Presidential Poll

FILE - Maldives Election Commissioner Fuwad Thowfeek speaks during a news conference in Male, Oct. 18, 2013.
FILE - Maldives Election Commissioner Fuwad Thowfeek speaks during a news conference in Male, Oct. 18, 2013.
Reuters
The Maldives will hold a new presidential election on Nov. 9,  the election commission said on Monday, two days after the police stopped the vote taking place.
 
The Indian Ocean chain of islands, famous for its luxury resorts, has been in turmoil since February 2012 when former president Mohamed Nasheed was ousted in what his supporters called a coup.
 
Nasheed, who won the Maldives' first free election in 2008 and was frontrunner for Saturday's halted vote, warned on Sunday of a “constitutional void” if a new election was not held before President Mohamed Waheed's term ends on Nov. 11.
 
He demanded the resignation of Waheed, who in turn said he would carry the country forward “without any bloodshed” and had no desire to stay in office beyond the deadline.
 
The police said they stopped the vote because they could not support an election held in contravention of the Supreme Court guidelines after some candidates failed to sign a new voter register. Nasheed's supporters condemned it as a new coup.
 
“We have decided to hold the first round of presidential elections on Nov. 9, and if necessary, a second round on Nov. 16,” Elections Commissioner Fuwad Thowfeek told reporters in the capital Male.
 
He said the commission set the date after discussions with the political parties and the government.
 
World powers, including the Commonwealth, the United States and Britain, condemned as a threat to democracy the delay to Saturday's polls, which came just weeks after the Supreme Court had annulled a first attempt to hold the election on Sept. 7, citing allegations of fraud.
 
“Last Decision”
 
Waheed, who was Nasheed's vice president and took power when he was ousted, said he did not want to stay in the office “even a day beyond Nov. 11”.
 
“It is not me who will decide on an arrangement post Nov. 11. I believe the Supreme Court and the People's Majlis [parliament] need to think about this,” he told reporters.
 
Dismissing the international criticism, Waheed said: “I know the dangers and opportunities in the Maldives. We do things with the advice of others like Commonwealth and other governments, but I will make the last decision.”
 
“I have to consider the country's interests to carry the country forward without any bloodshed,” he said.
 
FILE - Mohammed Nasheed in Male, Aug. 31, 2012FILE - Mohammed Nasheed in Male, Aug. 31, 2012
x
FILE - Mohammed Nasheed in Male, Aug. 31, 2012
FILE - Mohammed Nasheed in Male, Aug. 31, 2012
Nasheed has called for blocking of all streets in Male and bring the densely populated island and the capital of the archipelago to a standstill after the delay in the polls.
 
Nasheed's supporters have staged protests since he was ousted in 2012, and masked men this month fire-bombed a television station that backs Nasheed, who came to international prominence in 2009 after holding a cabinet meeting underwater in scuba gear to highlight the threat of climate change.
 
His main election rival is Abdulla Yameen, a half-brother of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who ruled for 30 years and was considered a dictator by opponents and rights groups. Holiday resort tycoon Gasim Ibrahim, finance minister under Gayoom, was also running.
 
Nasheed had looked set to return to office when he won the first round of the election on Sept. 7, putting him in a good position to win a run-off vote set for Sept. 28. But it was canceled by the Supreme Court citing fraud despite international observers saying the election was free and fair.
 
The country's new leader will need to tackle a rise in Islamist ideology, rights abuses and a lack of investor confidence after Waheed's government canceled the biggest foreign investment project, with India's GMR Infrastructure.

You May Like

Elusive Deal With Iran Could Yield Foreign Policy Legacy for Obama

A new Iranian leader -- and a strategic shift by the United States -- opens narrow window for nuclear agreement with Tehran More

Column: Saudi-Iran Meeting Could Boost Fight Against Islamic State

The fact that Iranians and Saudis are talking again does not guarantee a breakthrough, but it could make it easier to build a broad coalition against IS More

Thai Ruler Gives Top Cabinet Posts to Junta Inner Circle

Thailand's army chief has kept an iron grip on power as he extends the government, hand-picking an interim parliament that subsequently nominated him prime minister More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid