Maldives Election, If It Stands, Reflects a Clear Mandate Against Conservatism

Maldives Election, If It Stands, Reflects a Clear Mandate Against Conservatism

The Oct. 7 decision of the Supreme Court of the Maldives to annul the results of the presidential election held a month prior appears to be an attempt to avert the predictable win of ousted President Mohamed Nasheed, a liberal Muslim fighting a lonely battle against powerful conservative forces.

Nasheed secured 45.45 percent of the vote, just short of an outright victory. The second-place candidate, Abdulla Yameen, the half-brother of former longtime dictatorial President Maumoon Gayoom, received 25.35 percent. The other two candidates, resort tycoon Qasim Ibrahim and incumbent President Mohamed Waheed got 24 percent and 5 percent of the vote respectively.

A runoff between Nasheed and Yameen was scheduled for late-September, but Ibrahim petitioned the court, alleging electoral fraud.

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