Maldives ex-leader demands fresh vote under caretaker

MALÉ, October 20, 2013 (AFP) – Maldivian opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed Sunday demanded fresh elections under a caretaker president, a day after police forced the postponement of a vote he was expected to win. Nasheed, a former president, told reporters in the capital island Male that the outgoing President Mohamed Waheed should step down immediately and allow the national Speaker to conduct a fresh presidential vote.

“We believe that the only prudent way forward and the solution is for Waheed to resign and the Speaker of Parliament to take over the government until elections are over,” Nasheed said.

He accused the incumbent of letting the police block Saturday’s vote to try to push the country into a constitutional crisis before seizing power.

“It has become very evident that they (Waheed and police) have obstructed these elections, and very evident that the game they are trying to play,” Nasheed said.

“It is to take this country into a constitutional void and then capture power.”

The constitution requires that a new president be in office by November 11, but the independent Elections Commission (EC) has said it would be difficult to meet that deadline.

The current president was