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Maldives Presidential Election Could be Canceled

  • VOA News

Maldives Election Commissioner Fuwad Thowfeek speaks during a news conference in Male, October 18, 2013.
The Maldives Election Commission announced that the presidential election poll could be canceled because only one of the three candidates has endorsed the voting roll.

The commission said on Friday former president Mohamed Nasheed was the only candidate to approve the lists -- a legal prerequisite for Saturday's contest to proceed.

Abdulla Yameen, the brother of long-time Maldivian autocrat Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, and businessman Gasim Ibrahim have not endorsed the lists.

The Supreme Court annulled the results of the September 7 presidential election, citing irregularities, although international observers said the polls were fair and free.

The decision to order a re-vote allows third-place candidate Ibrahim, who launched the legal challenge to the first-round vote, to re-enter the contest.

Nasheed won 45 percent of the initial vote, while Yameen received 25 percent of the vote. Ibrahim was a close third with 24 percent.

Incumbent President Mohamed Waheed Hassan, who was formerly Nasheed's vice president, received only 5 percent of the vote and has withdrawn his candidacy for the re-vote.

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. .