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Maldives presidential candidates agree on Nov 9 poll

November 07, 2013 01:01 IST

Maldivian President Mohammed Waheed on Wednesday said that all the three candidates for the country's controversy-ridden presidential election have reached a consensus on holding the poll on November 9.

Emerging from a closed-door meeting with the three candidates, including former president Mohamed Nasheed, Waheed said, "They have reached a consensus on the issue (of holding presidential elections on November 9)," according to the President's Press Secretary Masood Imad.

The president later met with the Election Commission seeking its opinion on the poll date, after which the commission agreed to hold the exercise on November 9 and to conduct a run-off, if required, on either November 10 or 11.

Besides Waheed and Nasheed, leader of Maldivian Democratic Party, Wednesday's meeting was attended by Progressive Party of Maldives candidate Abdullah Yameen, a brother of Maldives' former autocratic ruler Abdul Gayoom, and Jumhoory Party candidate Gasim Ibrahim.

As per the Maldivian Constitution, the election process should be completed in such a manner that a new President takes office by the deadline of November 11.

During the polls held on September 7, Nasheed got 45.45 per cent of the votes, leading to a run-off because he did not get the mandatory 50 per cent of the votes.

However, the run-off was cancelled by the Supreme Court which then ordered fresh polls but police blocked a presidential re-vote on October 19, plunging the country into a fresh crisis.

After the country's first democratically elected president, Nasheed, resigned under duress in February 2012, he was succeeded by Waheed, who was then Vice-President.

The Maldives has been in political turmoil ever since Nasheed's removal.

Waheed's term ends on November 11 and if no new candidate is elected, it might spark a constitutional crisis in the nascent democracy.

Image: A woman walks past presidential candidate Mohamed Nasheed's campaign poster in Male

Photograph: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

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