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Maldives presidential election headed for a second round

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Maldivian former president and presidential candidate Mohamed Nasheed casts his vote at a local polling station in Male on Saturday.PHOTO:AFP
Maldivian former president and presidential candidate Mohamed Nasheed casts his vote at a local polling station in Male on Saturday.PHOTO:AFP

The on-going presidential election in the Maldives will go to a second round after former president Mohamed Nasheed failed to win the clear majority.

Nasheed got around 45 percent of the votes, but fell short of achieving the 51 percent majority needed for the first round victory.

The second round of voting is slated for Sep 28, reported Haveeru on-line news.

Abdulla Yameen, the half—brother of former Maldives president Mamoon Abdul Gayoom, was placed second with 25.7 percent votes, marginally ahead of business tycoon Gasim Ibrahim, who received 24.1 percent of the votes, the report said.

“We are pleased that MDP [Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party] were not able to win in the first round. I’m also happy to have led this team that secured the second place even if it was by a small margin,” Haveeru quoted Yameen as saying.

Meanwhile, incumbent President Mohamed Waheed was emphatically defeated in the first round of the poll, after his ‘Forward with the Nation’ coalition received only 5.13 percent of the votes, reported Minivan News. Earlier, the first round polling concluded peacefully on Saturday, 18 months after the country’s first elected president Mohamed Nasheed was ousted. Thousands of people flocked to 470 polling stations across 200 islands in the Maldives on Saturday to cast their ballots. The election was endorsed by over 400 monitors as peaceful but concerns were raised that about two percent of the vote could have had its secrecy compromised, Xinhua quoted an official as saying Saturday.

Transparency Maldives, who fielded the largest number of monitors, told media that the administration of the poll has been efficient.

“The opening procedure went relatively well with 99.5 percent of polling stations opened before 8.30 a.m. and 83 percent of all polling stations were opened within the first ten minutes. All ballot boxes were empty and verified as empty before the start of the polls,” Transparency Maldives director Uz. Hussain Siraj told media.

“We also note that the police were present at 95 percent of the polling stations at the time of opening and the observers concluded that the polling stations were set up to safeguard the secrecy of the vote in the majority of 98.2 percent of the cases,” he said.IANS



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