According to near-final results, Abdulla Yameen has won the presidential election run-off vote in the Maldives.
Abdulla Yameen had 51.3% of the vote compared with 48.6% for ex-President Mohamed Nasheed, with 98% of ballots counted, the Election Commission said.
Mohamed Nasheed had won 47% in the first round this month, just short of the 50% needed for outright victory, in an election process mired in controversy.
Abdulla Yameen is half-brother to Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who ruled for 30 years in Maldives
Abdulla Yameen is half-brother to Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who ruled for 30 years.
Imad Masood, a spokesman for outgoing President Mohamed Waheed, told Reuters there were “four more boxes yet to be counted, but they won’t make any difference to the final results”.
There have been months of legal and political wrangling over the election, causing concern among foreign diplomats.
One result was annulled and two votes cancelled by the courts.
Mohamed Nasheed had been seeking to regain power after he was forced to resign in 2012.
The Maldivian Supreme Court has suspended the presidential election run-off, after protests from a candidate.
On Saturday, ex-President Mohamed Nasheed polled nearly 47%, just short of the 50% needed for outright victory.
The second round was to have taken place on Sunday, but the runner-up Abdulla Yameen sought a delay, saying he needed time to campaign afresh.
Mohamed Nasheed has been seeking to regain power after he was forced to resign in 2012, sparking a political crisis.
This is the third time the presidential elections have been derailed.
A vote on September 7 was annulled by the Supreme Court after one candidate, Gasim Ibrahim, alleged irregularities, despite observer groups deeming the vote free and fair. The court also introduced new guidelines for elections.
Police then halted a planned re-run on October 19 saying the guidelines had not been met, after both Gasim Ibrahim and Abdulla Yameen failed to approve the voter register.
Maldives’ ex-President Mohamed Nasheed polled nearly 47 percent, just short of the 50 percent needed for outright victory
This time, the run-off was planned for only one day after the first round, because the constitution stipulates there must be a new president by Monday.
Despite that legal deadline, the Supreme Court sitting late at night has now ruled that the run-off “cannot take place” and ought to be delayed by six days.
The court said the Sunday run-off might have “undermined the constitutional rights of many people”, agreeing with Abdulla Yameen’s assertion that he needs more time to campaign.
Mohamed Nasheed won Maldives’ first-ever democratic vote in 2008, replacing Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who ran the country autocratically for three decades.
On Saturday, Mohamed Nasheed polled 46.93% of vote, while Abdulla Yameen, the half-brother of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, polled 29.73%.
Third-placed Gasim Ibrahim, a wealthy resort owner and a former minister under Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, was out of the running with 23.34%.
The suspension of Sunday’s voting means there cannot be a new president by the constitutional deadline of November 11, when the term of current president President Mohamed Waheed Hassan ends.
The Supreme Court had already announced that the current president could stay on but Mohamed Waheed Hassan has said he doesn’t want to.
Besides, some army officers have been circulating an appeal calling on soldiers not to obey the current president beyond the legal expiry of his term at midnight on Sunday.
The Maldivian Democratic Party – to which Mohamed Nasheed belongs – has accused Abdulla Yameen of trying to “subvert democracy”.
The ex-president resigned last year after large sections of the security forces objected to his arrest of a controversial judge.
[youtube snEGJvlmhUc 650]
Maldivian voters are going to the polls to elect a president after two previous attempts failed.
Candidates came to a last-minute agreement earlier this week to agree and sign the voter lists required for the election to take place.
In 2012, ex-President Mohamed Nasheed was forced from office, sparking a political crisis.
Mohamed Nasheed is seeking to regain power at these elections.
Tensions are high after one vote was annulled and a re-run halted by police.
“Voting got underway at 475 polling booths across the Maldives and several foreign capitals where Maldivians live,” Elections Commission official Aishath Reema told the Agence France-Presse news agency.
Maldivian voters are going to the polls to elect a president after two previous attempts failed
Supporters of Mohamed Nasheed’s opposition Maldivian Democratic Party allege the government and judiciary are attempting to influence the electoral process, fearing he will return to power.
Mohamed Nasheed, won the country’s first-ever democratic vote in 2008, ousting Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who ran the country autocratically for three decades.
His main rival at the ballot box is Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s half-brother, Abdullah Yameen. The other major contender is Gasim Ibrahim, a wealthy resort owner and a former minister under Gayoom.
If no candidate gets more than 50% of the vote then a second vote is scheduled to take place on Sunday.
In a vote on 7 September, Mohamed Nasheed led with 45% of the vote, while Abdullah Yameen and Gasim Ibrahim trailed with 25% and 24% respectively.
President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik got 5% and later bowed out.
That vote was annulled by the Supreme Court after Gasim Ibrahim alleged irregularities, despite observer groups deeming the vote free and fair. The court also introduced new guidelines for elections.
Police halted the planned re-run on 19 October saying the guidelines had not been met, after both Ibrahim Gasim and Abdullah Yameen failed to approve the registry of voters.
According to the Maldives constitution, a new president has to be in place by November 11 when the current presidential term ends.
Mohamed Nasheed was forced from office in February 2012 in what he has described as a coup. Mohamed Waheed, who succeeded him, claims Mohamed Nasheed resigned of his own accord in the face of opposition demonstrations.
[youtube s6Pt6eMhwAE 650]
Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed has been arrested in Male for abuse of office, after months of political tension.
Mohamed Nasheed was detained after failing to attend a hearing and ignoring two arrest warrants, police said.
The former president is accused of illegally ordering the arrest of a top judge – a charge that he says is politically motivated.
That incident sparked unrest which saw Mohamed Nasheed, the country’s first democratically elected leader, resign.
He has announced plans to stand for president again in September but would be barred from standing if given a jail sentence by the court.
Mohamed Nasheed is now due to appear in court on Wednesday, police said.
Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed has been arrested in Male for abuse of office, after months of political tension
An unconfirmed report spoke of clashes between his supporters and police when they came to arrest him.
Mohamed Nasheed was elected as president of the Indian Ocean archipelago in 2008.
He argues that he was forced to quit in February 2012 under duress after soldiers and police mutinied and overran his party’s headquarters in Male.
But his successor, Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik, who had been serving as his vice-president, insists Mohamed Nasheed left of his own accord after opposition-led protests.
Last month, Mohamed Nasheed briefly took refuge in the Indian High Commission in Male. Delhi has tried to mediate in his dispute with Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik.