Maldivian president ends re-election bid

MALÉ, October 12, 2013 (AFP) – Maldivian President Mohamed Waheed has withdrawn his candidature for fresh elections which were ordered by the Supreme Court after a previous round of voting was annulled, an official said Saturday. However, a Commonwealth probe said the transfer of power was constitutional.

A new president must be in office in the Maldives by November 11, a deadline set by the 2008 constitution that ended 30 years of one-party rule by autocrat Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. Waheed quit the re-election bid after getting just over five percent of the popular vote at the September 7 elections which were controversially cancelled by the country’s highest court earlier this week.

“President Waheed has decided not to contest in the re-run of the Presidential elections scheduled for October 19,” his spokesman Masood Imad said.

Waheed was humiliated during the first round, which was won by his predecessor Mohamed Nasheed who secured 45.45 percent of the vote in an election international observers said were free and fair.

Nonetheless Nasheed failed to secure the 50 percent required to win outright.

Waheed’s withdrawal will leave front runner Nasheed taking on the the second and third placed candidates who h