The re-run of September’s presidential election in The Maldives was cancelled at the weekend.
The election has a troubled history. In 2008 Mohamed Nasheed was elected president in a poll that led Freedom House to classify the country as en Electoral Democracy. However, in February 2012 he resigned following opposition protests and amid claims that he was forced to stand down in a de facto coup. His Vice-President, Mohammed Waheed Hassan, assumed the presidency.
Presidential elections were organised for September 2013. Former president, Mohamed Nasheed, topped the poll with 45.5% of the vote. Abdulla Yameen of the Progressive Party of Maldives came second. Vice-President Mohammed Waheed gained only 5% of the vote.
However, the second-round run-off was then cancelled by the Supreme Court. Instead, the first round was ordered to be run again on 19 October. The same candidates were standing again. On Saturday morning, amid controversy over electoral registration among other things, the re-run of the first was cancelled just before it was due to start. The police stepped in and prevented the poll from going ahead.
There is pressure from international organisations to hold the poll. Yesterday, the Electoral Commission is stating that the first round re-run will take place on 9 November.