Waheed out, Nasheed battles Yameen

Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed will fight Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) candidate Abdulla Yameen at a run-off poll at the end of this month after both candidates secured the highest number of votes in the Presidential elections yesterday but yet failed to get more than 51 percent of the votes.
Incumbent President of the Maldives Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik was meanwhile handed a resounding defeat in the first round of the polls, with provisional results recording his ‘Forward with the nation’ coalition as receiving just 5.13 percent of the vote, Minivan News reported.
Waheed ran as an independent candidate due to controversy over whether his Gaumee Ithihaad Party (GIP) had the minimum 10,000 members needed for official recognition.
The incumbent stood in coalition with the Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP).
Many of the DRP’s more than 21,000 members apparently declined to vote for the party, with the coalition receiving just 10,750 votes out of 209,495 polled.
The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) also suffered disappointment, painting almost every atoll yellow, but proving unable to achieve the 51 percent needed for the first round victory it had confidently predicted with cries of ‘Ehburun!’ (‘one round’).
With the vote split between three political adversaries, the MDP faced an uphill battle to achieve its goal, falling around 24 percent short of the 125,000 votes it claimed were pledged during its nationwide door-to-door campaign.
However, the MDP’s 95,244 votes represented a significant gain on its first round performance in 2008 of 44,293 votes (24.91 percent of the total vote in 2008).
The tightest race was that the for second place, with Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) candidate Abdulla Yameen at 25 percent – barely 1 percent ahead of rival pro-government candidate, resort tycoon Gasim Ibrahim.
Elections Commissioner Fuwad Thowfeek confirmed at a press conference held at 5:00am on Sunday ( September 8 ) that the commission will hold a run-off election on September 28, between Nasheed and Yameen, Minivan News reported.
However, the narrow margin separating Gasim and Yameen suggests the position of runner-up may be hotly contested.
The provisional results as of 5:00am on Sunday September 8 were:

  1. Gasim Ibrahim – 50,422 (24.07%)
  2. Mohamed Waheed – 10,750 (5.13%)
  3. Abdulla Yameen – 53,099 (25.35%)
  4. Mohamed Nasheed – 95,224 (45.45%)

Nasheed proved popular among resort workers with the MDP recording strong majorities in most resort ballot boxes. (Colombo Gazette)