Holding the Maldives’ presidential revote on Saturday as scheduled is becoming “hopeless” because two candidates have not endorsed the register of voters as the Supreme Court mandated, the elections commissioner said Friday. Elections Commissioner Fuwad Thowfeek told the Associated Press that two of the three candidates have not signed the list by the deadline set by the commission and now he is running out of time to dispatch officials and ballot papers for voters overseas. The Supreme Court annulled the results of a Sept. 7 presidential election and ordered a revote, agreeing with a losing candidate that the voters’ register which was used had made-up names or listed dead people.
According to Thowfeek only former President Mohamed Nasheed has approved the list. The other candidates, Yaamin Abdul Gayoom, a brother of the country’s longtime autocratic leader, and businessman Qasim Ibrahim, who challenged the first-round result in court, have not signed them. They have asked the commission to verify thousands of fingerprints of voters, which is an impossible task, he said.
“If they are going to put such conditions, they are not going to have an election tomorrow,” Thowfeek said. “We are becoming hopeless.”
Nasheed, who became the country’s first democratically elected president in 2008, led the initial vote with more than 45 percent but failed to secure 50 percent for an outright win. He was set for a runoff with Gayoom, a brother of Maldives’ 30-year autocratic ruler Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, when the Supreme Court annulled the election.