Oct. 19 - The Maldives' fresh presidential election is halted by police. Paul Chapman reports.
The Maldives' planned presidential election on Saturday was stopped in its tracks without a single vote cast. Police halted the ballot before it even began despite a court ruling that it should go ahead. (SOUNDBITE)(English) FUAD THOWFEEK, MALDIVES ELECTION COMMISSIONER, SAYING: "We will not be able to hold elections today because police blocked our work. They have a lot of police officers down on the ground floor of this building and then they don't allow our staff to take out any ballot papers, ballot boxes or pencils, note books, or anything." The voter registry signed by former president Mohamed Nasheed wasn't ready by Friday because of objections by some of his rivals. There was confusion whether the polls could open without the candidates signing a new registry. Police chiefs insisted they were acting independently. (SOUNDBITE)(English) ABDULLA NAWAZ, CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE, SAYING: "We are totally independent as an institution but we are obliged to rely on the Supreme Court rulings and we are following that. We have seen a 16-point guideline and we have seen that some of the points in the guidelines have not been fulfilled by the institutions concerned. So we believe that we are not, as an independent institution, forcing someone to stop doing something." The police action came despite a Supreme Court ruling the same morning upholding an order for fresh elections by October 20th.