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Updated: November 10, 2013 14:34 IST

Maldives court puts off presidential runoff

DPA
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Election officials count votes after polling for presidential polls closed in Male, Maldives on Saturday.
AP Election officials count votes after polling for presidential polls closed in Male, Maldives on Saturday.

The Maldives Supreme Court ordered the postponement of a presidential runoff election scheduled for Sunday, one day after the first round failed elect a clear winner, election officials said.

The runoff was scheduled to be held between former president Mohamed Nasheed, who won 47 per cent of the ballots Saturday, and Abdulla Yameen, a brother of the island nation’s autocratic former ruler, who won 30 per cent of the vote.

The Supreme Court ruled that the consecutive days of elections would be impractical, and set November 16 for the runoff.

The runoff was initially scheduled for Sunday to meet the constitutional requirement that a new president be elected before Monday.

The Supreme Court ruled Saturday that President Mohamed Waheed Hassan and his government would remain in power until a successor is elected, in order to avoid a constitutional crisis.

Hassan contested the first round in September, but received only 5 per cent of the vote and subsequently withdrew his candidacy.

The predominantly Muslim Indian Ocean archipelago has an estimated 240,000 voters.

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