Maldives officials rescheduled the country’s presidential election for Nov. 9 after police prevented the scheduled vote this past weekend due to a conflict with a Supreme Court ruling.
While the new schedule may break through a political stalemate and reassure this troubled young democracy, it may not produce a new president before the incumbent’s term ends, creating a constitutional vacuum.
If no candidate wins 50 per cent of the Nov. 9 vote, a runoff would be held on Nov. 16, according to the schedule Vice Elections Commissioner Ahmed Fayaz announced to reporters on Monday.
The constitution requires a president to be elected by Nov. 11, when sitting President Mohamed Waheed Hassan’s term ends.
The Supreme Court had annulled results of a Sept. 7 election, finding that the voters’ registry had phony names and those of dead people. The revote had been set for Saturday, but police stopped it because the Elections Commission failed to obtain approval for the voting registry from all the candidates as required by the high court.
Former President Mohamed Nasheed, who led the annulled election with more than 45 percent of the vote, has accused Hassan of scheming to delay the election until his term ends and continue to hold power. Mr. Nasheed has demanded that Mr. Waheed resign and hand over government to the speaker of Parliament to oversee a new election.
Mr. Nasheed’s rivals at the election would be Yaamin Abdul Gayoom, a brother of Maldives’ longtime autocratic ruler Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, and tourist resort owner Qasim Ibrahim.