COLOMBO, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- With less than 24 hours to go it is highly unlikely that the embattled Maldives presidential elections will be held as scheduled and are likely to be postponed for the second time after two of the three candidates refused to sign an all-important electoral list, an official said here on Friday.
Maldives Elections Commissioner Fuwad Thowfeek told reporters that since the presidential candidates of the Jumhoory Party (JP) and Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) have refused to sign off on the Electoral List, there is inadequate time to prepare for voting on Oct. 19.
"I really do not understand why the JP and the PPM want over 7, 000 voter applications re-scrutinized. They must be aware of the time constraints but we remain hopeful that they will give approval at least at the last minute," Thowfeek said, adding that there is no deadline for the parties.
Candidates signing off on the electoral lists is essential under a Supreme Court order that was released earlier this month. Under the order unless the parties approve the voter lists the police will not support the Elections Commission to have polling, which will span over 200 islands.
Thowfeek admitted to Xinhua that time remains the greatest challenge as the Supreme Court gave only 12 days for new elections to be held.
"There are many technical reasons behind holding elections and we simply do not have the technical expertise or resources to answer all the claims made by parties," he said.
The Commissioner estimates at least five more days are needed to reply to the concerns raised by the JP and PPM.
The Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) approved the list on Thursday. Their candidate former President Mohammad Nasheed won the previous round with 45.45 percent of the vote.
Political wrangling has beset the tropical islands long popular among holidaymakers for its pristine beauty since Nasheed was controversially ousted from power in February 2012.