Nasheed faces tricky run-off in Maldives election

MALÉ, September 8, 2013 (AFP) – The ex-leader of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, faced disappointment Sunday after failing to secure a majority in presidential polls he hoped would seal his return to power 18 months after he was toppled. Nasheed now faces a tricky run-off election on September 28 after he won the first round of voting on the honeymoon islands on Saturday, but with less than 50 percent of the vote.

He had sounded confident all week of winning an outright victory which would have seen him storm back to power after his ousting in February 2012 which he labelled a “coup.”

The editor of leading newspaper Haveeru, Moosa Latheef, said that 46-year-old former democracy activist would be “very disappointed” by the results.

“The second round will be tight,” he said.

The private Minivan News website, citing what it said were provisional results from the election commission, said Nasheed had won 45.45 percent of the vote while his nearest challenger Abdulla Yameen won 25.35 percent.

Haveeru, which conducted its own exit polls, also projected a victory for Nasheed but with 44.8 percent of votes cast.

Nasheed now faces Yameen, the half-brother of long-time Maldivian autocrat Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. The oth