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, 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.
Nasheed, running against three rivals, had secured 45.45 percent of the total polled, according to the early results, Election Commissioner Fuwad Thowfeek told reporters.
He missed a required majority of 50 percent, 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 percent, the preliminary results showed.
Gasim Ibrahim, a resort tycoon, media business owner and formerly a finance minister under Gayoom, secured 24.07 percent, while Nasheed's successor and incumbent leader Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik performed the worst, with just 5.13 percent.
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.
Transparency Maldives, which deployed 400 observers to monitor the poll, said it was "largely peaceful", except for a few minor counting disputes.
"The incidents that have happened on election day will not have a material impact on the outcome," said Aiman Rasheed, an official of Transparency Maldives.(EWNews)