Voting begins in Maldives polls

2014-03-22 09:39

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Male - Parliamentary elections got under way in the Maldives on Saturday despite the island nation's new president expressing doubts over whether the vote can be conducted, officials said.

An ally of President Abdulla Yameen had petitioned the Supreme Court on Thursday seeking a delay of Saturday's polls, arguing that a depleted Elections Commission may not be able to conduct the vote.

But with no court decision announced, "the election is going ahead as scheduled", Elections Commission official Aishath Reema told AFP.

Polls opened at 08:00. "Balloting will be conducted over an eight hour period across the country," Reema said.

Former president Mohamed Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party is the front-runner, but observers were doubtful if any single party will be able to take the assembly.

The head of the Elections Commission and his deputy were both sacked on 9 March for "disobeying" a Supreme Court order to adjourn part of last year's presidential election which was eventually won in November by Yameen.

Yameen questioned whether the commission now had the ability to conduct a free and fair poll for the 85-seat parliament given that two of its five positions were now vacant.

Controversy

"The commission barely meets the quorum [of three] to hold an election of such importance," Yameen told a rally in the capital Male on Thursday night.

A total of 302 candidates are contesting the 85 seats in parliament which has legislative responsibilities, but the executive president who is directly elected by the people has wide powers in the country of 330 000 Sunni Muslims.

The sacking of two top election officials nearly two weeks ago has reopened the controversy over last year's presidential election when the Supreme Court annulled the results of a first round won by Nasheed, and then cancelled two other polls at the last minute.

Yameen won the November 16 presidential run off, five years after the island nation introduced multi-party democracy.

Western nations as well as neighbouring India have said they were closely following developments in a country where recent political unrest has dented its image as a honeymoon paradise for tourists.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for peaceful and credible elections.
Read more on:    maldives
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike

Watch this insane drift contest with four-times dirt-track World champion Karl Maier riding a speedway bike against a BMW M235i.

 
 

Men24.com

Want to start talking dirty?
Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong focus on social interaction and connecting with your friends. You may have the need to expand and connect with a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.