Dissident election candidates win Maldivian capital, but no threat to Gayoom

Pro-democracy activists Sunday won both seats reserved for the capital island Male in the Maldives post-tsunami parliamentary vote, but President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was still seen consolidating his position as Asia’s longest serving leader. Pro-democracy activists Sunday won both seats reserved for the capital island Male in the Maldives post-tsunami parliamentary vote, but President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was still seen consolidating his position as Asia’s longest serving leader. Chief Election Commissioner Ibrahim Rashad said voting spilled over to a second day Sunday because they ran out of ballot papers at the Hilton resort island and that hotel workers had not been able to vote on Saturday.

Rashad said Ibrahim Ismail, 40, who had been jailed by the president on charges of trying to overthrow him, won one of the seats by gaining 6,507 votes in Saturday’s first-past-the-post election.

The number two slot in Male went to dissident Mohamad Shihab who garnered 5,760 votes while two Gayoom loyalists, including fisheries minister Abdullah Kamaldeen, were ousted.

Results for 20 atolls returning another 40 members to the 50-member Majlis, or parliament, are expected by Wednesday, Rashad said. Eight members are appointed to parliam