Presidential election in the Maldives
With no candidate winning a majority in the first democratic presidential election in the Maldives, the incumbent Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Mohamed Nasheed move on to a second-round runoff.
|Maldivian presidential election, 2008|
|Party||Candidate||Running mate||First round|
|Dhivehi Rayyithunge||Maumoon Abdul Gayoom||Ahmed Thasmeen Ali||71,774||40.33%|
|Democratic||Mohamed Nasheed||Mohammed Waheed Hassan||44,315||24.90%|
|Independent||Hassan Saeed||Ahmed Shaheed||29,656||16.66%|
|Republican||Qasim Ibrahim||Ahmed Ali Sawaad||27,128||15.24%|
|Islamic Democratic||Umar Naseer||Ahmed Rizwy||2,472||1.39%|
|Social Liberal||Ibrahim Ismail||Fathimath Nahid Shakir||1,382||0.78%|
|Invalid or blank votes||1,232||0.69%|
The elections are the Maldives’ first democratic elections, and there are 396 polling stations throughout the islands. The elections were peaceful, though voting irregularities prevented some voters from voting. Lines to polling stations were long on some islands, with waits sometimes exceeding six hours.
A number of citizens, especially of the opposition to the ruling Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party and Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), were found to be not on the voter list, even though they had registered, and some islands did not even receive voter lists.
Later, the election committee said that anyone could vote, as long as he or she showed an ID card that was valid. A handful of riot police were deployed after 300 protesters gathered around the central vote-counting location, Nasandhura Palace.
Ahmed Shaheed, the independent vice-presidential nominee said, “It’s a disaster… I think there is deliberate tampering.” MDP chairwoman Mariya Didi, who incidentally registered but was not on a voter list, echoed similar concerns: “We hoped that once in our lifetime we could vote freely, but today we are being denied our right to vote.”
Six candidates competed in the first multi party election ever held in the Maldives. It appears that there will be a runoff between Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Mohamed Nasheed, as early results from the morning of October 9, 2008 showed Gayoom ahead with 40.3% against Nasheed’s 24.9%. Those results stayed the same, and the four other candidates were eliminated, so a runoff between Gayoom and Nasheed will occur within the next ten days.
Third-placed Hassan Saeed, a former attorney-general, threw his support to Nasheed for the second round. Ibrahim Ismail also backed Nasheed, and the other two candidates are expected to vouch for Nasheed as well.