'A coup'

Maldives Police Halt Presidential Election

Ishara S.Koddikara/AFP/Getty,ISHARA S.KODIKARA

Just hours before polls were set to open for an election, Maldives police forced procedures to a halt when they surrounded the secretariat of the Elections Commission. Supporters of the leading candidate called the move “a coup” and staged a sit-down protest that brought the city of Male to a standstill. Maldives has been in turmoil since the February 2012 ousting of then-president Mohamed Nasheed, who was in a position to resume office until elections on Saturday were halted. There was apparently confusion over whether the country’s Supreme Court sanctioned the election, as it had cancelled one on September 7. Chief Superintended Abdulla Nawaz said he acted out of concern about “any unrest that might occur in the country as a result of letting the election proceed.” The U.S. and Britain have denounced the delay.