|Nasheed at his home in
Male on Sunday. (AP)
Male, Sept. 8 (Reuters): Former Maldivian leader Mohamed Nasheed will face a run-off election on September 28 after his win in the presidential poll ended without a majority, provisional results showed on Sunday.
The elections were held nearly 20 months after his removal ignited months of unrest.
Nasheed, the Maldives’ first democratically elected President, was forced from office in February 2012 in what his supporters call a coup. The turmoil tarnished the Indian Ocean archipelago’s image as a tropical holiday paradise.
Critical challenges facing the next President include a rise in Islamist ideology, human rights abuses and lack of investor confidence after Waheed’s government cancelled the country’s biggest foreign investment project with India’s GMR Infrastructure.
Nasheed, running against three rivals, had secured 45.45 per cent of the total polled, according to the early results, election commissioner Fuwad Thowfeek told reporters.
He missed a required majority of 50 per cent, as the votes were split among the other three contenders.
Nasheed’s main rival, Abdulla Yameen, a half-brother of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom who ruled for 30 years and was considered a dictator by opponents and rights groups, polled 25.35 per cent, the preliminary results showed.
Gasim Ibrahim, a resort tycoon, media business owner and formerly a finance minister under Gayoom, secured 24.07 per cent, while Nasheed’s successor and incumbent leader Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik performed the worst, with just 5.13 per cent.
Nasheed and Yameen will face each other in a run-off election on September 28, the election commissioner confirmed.
The election commission will release final results of the first round on September 14, Thowfeek said.
“Any boxes needed to be recounted will be recounted within this time and, if required, make adjustments. Counting will be done in the presence of observers and representatives of candidates,” he said.
Transparency Maldives, which deployed 400 observers, said the poll was “largely peaceful”, except for a few minor counting disputes.