Elections chief says Maldives run-off on track

MALÉ, November 9, 2013 (AFP) – The Maldives’ presidential run-off will be held Sunday, but with a five-hour delay, the chief elections commissioner announced as the second-placed candidate asked for more time to prepare. The court has begun hearing the case.
Ibrahim says he wants more time to tell his supporters which of the two candidates they must back. Commissioner Fuwad Thowfeek told reporters at a pre-dawn press conference that he was going ahead with the second round according to a timetable agreed with all the candidates prior to Saturday’s first round which was won by former president Mohamed Nasheed.

“We are going ahead with the elections on Sunday,” Thowfeek said. “Changing the date will cause a lot of difficulties.”

He added that voting will get underway at noon (0700 GMT), five hours behind schedule, but the 239,000 electorate will have eight and a half hours to cast their ballots.

His remarks came as the Commonwealth warned the Maldives against putting off Sunday’s run-off presidential elections aimed at electing a leader after nearly two years of political unrest.

The 53-member bloc’s special envoy to the Maldives, Don McKinnon, said Saturday’s presidential ballot was a “good election” e