COLOMBO, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- Contentious electoral lists have been publicized by Maldives election officials on Tuesday after a fresh date was set for Maldives presidential elections in what is the third attempt to elect a head of state amid deepening political infighting.
Under the new dates the first round of voting will take place on Nov.9 and if a second round run-off is necessary it will be held on Nov.16, the Elections Commission said.
The electoral lists, which were a major stumbling block in the earlier round of elections after two presidential candidates refused to sign-off on them. That put Maldives President Mohammad Waheed under increasing international pressure and prompted him to push for fresh dates after police stopped polling on Oct.19.
Maldives sank further into political disarray after attempts to hold a second round of presidential elections were thwarted by police, plunging the Indian Ocean group of islands into deeper political infighting amid calls for President Waheed's arrest.
Former Maldives President Mohammad Nasheed on Sunday called for the arrest of incumbent Maldives President Waheed and appealed for greater assistance from the international community after a second round of polling was disrupted.
The vote cancellation sparked protests in Male where Nasheed also staged a sit-in calling for a revote.
He insisted there is no possibility of holding free and fair presidential elections as long as President Waheed's government is in power and opined that control should be handed over to the speaker of parliament to oversee the installment of a new head of state.
Political infighting had also derailed previous attempts to hold polling with a vote on Sept. 7 being annulled by the Supreme Court though more than a thousand international monitors described the polling as free and fair.
Nasheed won that round, bagging 45.45 percent of the vote while Waheed gathered only 5 percent. The latter later stepped down from contesting polls promising to oversee a peaceful transition of power.
The international community led by India, the United States and United Nations have repeatedly called for the democratic process to be resumed.
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