Maldives polls in doubt: election chief

MALÉ, October 18, 2013 (AFP) – The Maldives’ electoral commission warned Friday that this weekend’s presidential polls could be scrapped at the last minute as two of the candidates have still to endorse the voting roll.

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Just hours before polling stations were due to open, commission chairman Fuwad Thowfeek said former president Mohamed Nasheed was the only one of the three candidates who had approved the lists — a legal prerequisite for Saturday’s contest to proceed.

“So far, only Nasheed has signed,” Thowfeek told reporters in the capital Male. “If the election is not held tomorrow, then the rights of one candidate (Nasheed) will be violated.”

While urging the other two candidates — Abdullah Yameen and Qasim Ibrahim — to endorse the list of names, Thowfeek acknowledged the pair could prevent the contest from taking place.

“Tomorrow’s election is in their hands,” he said.

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Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) said it was concerned about the developments and called it an “obstruction of the election process”.

One of his key allies, Shauna Aminath, said Nasheed was meeting with the elections chief and was due to announce his stand later in the day.

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