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Maldives Ousted President Faces Runoff Election

  • VOA News

Former Maldives’ President Mohamed Nasheed speaks during a press conference after the commission of national inquiry released its report in Male, Maldives, which concluded that Nasheed's resignation was legal, and not forced at gunpoint as he claimed.
The first democratically-elected president of Maldives, who was ousted from office last year, will have a runoff election on September 28 after failing to win a clear majority in the first round of the tiny archipelago nation's presidential election.

The Election Commission says former president Mohamed Nasheed received 45 percent of the vote in Saturday's poll, which included three other candidates. He will face a runoff vote against Abdulla Yameen, the brother of long-time Maldivian autocrat Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. Yameen won 25 percent of the votes.

Businessman Gasim Ibrahim was a close third with 24 percent, while incumbent President Mohamed Waheed Hassan, who was Mr. Nasheed's former vice president, performed the worst with just five percent.

Transparency Maldives, an independent election monitor, says the the election was largely peaceful.

Mr. Nasheed says he was forced to resign at gunpoint following a coup in February 2012.

A domestic commission dismissed Mr. Nasheed's claims, saying the transfer of power was "legal and constitutional."

The Republic of Maldives is a Muslim-majority nation made up of about 1,200 islands scattered in the Indian Ocean, southwest of Sri Lanka. The country is famous for its luxury beach resorts and hotels.