Police halt Maldives presidential election

Oct. 19, 2013 at 12:01 PM   |   0 comments

MALE, Maldives, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Police in the Maldives blocked voting Saturday in the country's presidential election by stopping the distribution of election materials, officials say.

The police action came after the Maldives Supreme Court refused to block the election but didn't clearly permit voting, the BBC reported.

Electoral commission head Fuwad Thowfeek announced after the court decision the start of voting would be delayed in some places, but that the voting hours would be extended.

Thowfeek called off the election after police prohibited voting materials from being removed from the elections office.

A police spokesman accused the commission of proceeding with the election without giving all candidates a chance to endorse the list of voters.

Thowfeek charged police had exceeded their mandate, calling it a "dark day for democracy."

Candidates Gasim Ibrahim and Abdulla Yameen, who trailed ex-president Mohamed Nasheed in pre-election polls, asked the Supreme Court late Friday to issue the injunction. They said they hadn't had time to review the voter registry.

The court last week threw out the results of the first round of voting in September, charging there had been irregularities.

Thowfeek said a new date for the election would be announced.

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