Losing candidates of Maldivian poll demand vote recount

Colombo, Sep 15 (IANS) All candidates who lost in the recently held first round of presidential election in the Maldives, barring former president Mohamed Nasheed, have demanded a recount of votes.

Vice-president of the Elections Commission Ahmed Fayaz Hassan said the Jumhoory Party (JP) requested for a vote recount as it had personal doubts about the polling, reported Xinhua.

He said the request has no legal basis.

The JP demanded the recount alleging that ballots were cast in the names of deceased people, and people were re-registered without their knowledge. It also said votes were rigged and different results were reported by various media outlets from the same result sheet.

The party also alleged the result does not tally with the voter turnout.

President Mohamed Waheed and representatives of the Progressive Party of the Maldives agreed for a recount. According to reports, Nasheed's representative, however, insisted there were no grounds to warrant a recount.

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), led by Nasheed, made a strong show during the first round and secured a lead of 45 percent in the ballot held Sep 7.

Nasheed, the country's first democratically elected president, was controversially removed from power in an alleged coup in February 2012. Waheed took power from him.

He convincingly beat Waheed in the election. Waheed received only five percent of the votes cast.

Nasheed also faces former president Gayoom's half-brother Abdulla Yameen, of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).

Yameen recently edged out tycoon Gasim Ibrahim of the JP by approximately 3,000 votes.

The second round of the elections will be held Sep 28.